A temporary street closure to allow for safe school pick up and drop offs has been made permanent at peak times in Reading.

Crescent Road between its junctions with Wokingham Road and Bulmershe Road will now permanently close for a period of time both in the morning and the afternoon.

The closure has been enacted as part of the ‘school streets’ programme, which have been set up to encourage families to walk or cycle to school, rather than being dropped off by car.

Crescent Road has had a school street in place from 8.15am to 9am and 2.45pm to 3.30pm during school term time since the start of last year.

But these closures were only in place on an experimental basis, to determine whether the closure would work.

It has been the one school street in the town which serves three schools, Alfred Sutton Primary School, UTC and Maiden Erlegh School.

The others serve Wilson Primary in West Reading, Thameside Primary in Caversham and Park Lane Primary in Tilehurst.

The move to make the temporary closures permanent has been welcomed by members of the council’s traffic management sub-committee.

John Ennis (Labour, Southcote) lead councillor for transport said: “I’m really pleased it’s going to permanent. I think these street schemes are excellent, outstanding.

“The one in Wilson Road, I go by there every morning as I’m walking to work and it is well complied with.

“As a Southcote ward councillor that has to deal with issues around school traffic and school parking I’m green with envy.

“I want that to take place in some of the schools in Southcote, I’m jealous!”

School streets are operated by volunteers who are responsible for controlling traffic, and therefore need volunteers and complaint schools to function.

Cllr Josh Williams (Green, Park) is a volunteer for the Crescent Road school street.

Fellow Green Park cllr Rob White, leader of the opposition, said: “It’s great seeing young people walking down the middle of the road unimpeded by cars, which used to be fairly common for residents to raise, the congestion in Crescent Road was so bad that car were mounting the pavement and driving along and there were some very close calls so it’s really positive to see the change.”

However, he did note that there has been some ‘displacement’ of traffic, with families instead parking their cars in surrounding streets and proceeding to drop off and pick up their children on foot.

But ultimately, councillor White welcomed the scheme being made permanent.

He also suggested that the school streets could be enforced using cameras if volunteer numbers ever declined.

The closure was made permanent at the meeting of the traffic management sub-committee on Wednesday,  June 14.

A morning closure of Crescent Road was first enacted in February 2022, with an afternoon closure being introduced in November of that year.