Project to close roads outside Liverpool schools could be extended


The project delivers temporary road closures around schools to make drop off and pick up times safer.

A traffic calming measure outside Liverpoolschools could be extended to almost a dozen more sites.

Cllr Dan Barrington, Liverpool Council cabinet member for climate change and environment, has set the local authority a challenge to implement a total of 20 School Street projects by the end of the 2022/23 financial year. This includes nine existing projects outside primary schools across the city.

Greenbank Primary. Image: Google

The project delivers temporary road closures around schools to make drop off and pick up times safer for children on their way into class. It also encourages greener transport solutions, such as walking and cycling.

A report to the council’s climate change and environment committee on Tuesday was told how the local authority has also engaged nine schools across the city for the scheme, with signage introduced at more than half of them. It added: “The majority of the timed road closures will be managed by trained volunteers, mainly sourced from the school itself, and the local communities.

“These volunteers have undertaken appropriate training to enable them to do this and have also been provided with appropriate industry compliant barriers to physically close the affected roads.” An Experimental Traffic Regulation Order is currently being progressed to bring the proposed measures into effect.

According to the report, temporary orders have been made to bring the access restrictions into operation at the five schools where the signage has been installed. Of these, three schools – Greenbank Primary, St Gregory’s and Much Woolton have committed to staffing the closures, when operationally possible.

Greenbank Primary School. Image: Google

When put to members in Knowsley, councilors rejected adoption of the project. This was as authority officers said there was little evidence they worked.

Cllr Barrington has set a target of 20 schools to be operational by the end of the financial year, but one issue that arose during the first phase was the inability of some schools to be able to staff closures. The report said: “This has led to ‘sign-only’ school streets which have risks associated with contraventions of the timed restriction.”

Liverpool Council is currently in the process of applying to the Department for Transport for enforcement powers under the Traffic Management Act which will enable it to enforce schemes of this nature using CCTV, potentially in the 2023/24 financial year.

Addressing the committee, Cllr Barrington said: “I know this is something that’s really important to everyone. It’s taken longer than I’d hoped to get some of these sites up and running but it’s really important, safety around schools is a big, huge issue and we know this can make a big difference.

“It can also do work around improving air quality and hopefully pushing more people to think carefully about how they travel to school and ultimately encouraging people to walk or cycle. I’m pleased we are progressing with this.”

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