School Streets FAQs
On this School Streets FAQs page, you’ll find answers to many of the questions we’re frequently asked regarding School Streets. We’ve split this into sections to make it easier for you to find the answers you need.
If you cannot find what you’re looking for in the FAQs below, please do get in touch with our team who will be happy to answer your questions.
School Streets: General Questions
The following questions focus on the purpose and research behind the School Streets trials in Norfolk.
A School Street is when the road(s) immediately around a school are temporarily closed to most motorised traffic at school drop-off and pick-up times when the school is open.
Norfolk County Council want to deliver School Streets to:
- Create a safer and more pleasant environment for everyone
- Tackle congestion, unsafe parking and reduce the risk from motorised vehicles
- Encourage walking, cycling and wheeling to and from school
- Improve air quality in the immediate area outside of the school
Yes. A Temporary Traffic Regulation Order will be in place for each school to cover the duration that the School Streets trials will take place. A traffic regulation order (TRO) allows the road to be temporarily closed by law. As a legal document, TRO’s help us manage the highway network for all road users, improving safety and access. Details can be found on Norfolk County Council’s website.
Initially, School Streets are being introduced at selected schools as a trial for up to 18 months. Following evaluation of these trials, a decision will be made as to whether to introduce this as a permanent scheme.
School Streets will start and finish at the beginning and end of the school day for children to arrive/depart. Times may vary slightly for each school but usually the road will be shut for around 30-45 minutes in both the morning and afternoon at the times when the majority of children enter and leave the school. School Streets will only operate during term time when the school is open.
We have selected a small number of schools where the School Streets approach can be trialled. These schools have contacted the County Council and local Councillors with concerns about the dangers of heavy traffic and parking around their school despite various initiatives being used to try and address this. A cross section of schools from different settings have been chosen.
Through the introduction of a School Street, the total volumes of traffic near to the school are expected to decrease during peak times. Similar schemes have achieved reductions of around 40%.
Careful planning will take place before any School Street is implemented to ensure that any displaced motorised traffic can be adequately accommodated. We will be working with school communities to identify and promote locations away from schools (such as local businesses and community centres) where parents can park.
Experience from other School Streets shows that residents in surrounding roads are not adversely affected, as parking by families who need to drive will be dispersed over a wider area. A research report has been published by Edinburgh Napier University on displacement of traffic and road safety. This report shows that traffic displacement doesn’t cause road safety issues in neighbouring streets.
A number of different elements will be monitored before and after a School Street is implemented. This will include how children travel to school, traffic flows, and feedback from the school community, residents, business and other stakeholders.
The impacts of the School Streets on surrounding areas will be monitored and any necessary amendments to the School Street arrangement will be made.
There will be engagement with the school community (pupils, staff, parents / carers), local residents, businesses, Councillors and other stakeholders prior to a School Street being implemented.
Anyone over the age of 18 can become a volunteer steward. For more information, please contact Elanor Nicholls on [email protected].
This scheme is a trial so it is not yet determined whether additional school streets will be implemented. However, if the decision is made to extend the scheme an expression of interest form will be made available online.
Please email [email protected] to let us know what you think of the School Street near you. We’d love to hear your views.
School Streets: Operational questions
These questions focus on how we’re going to make School Streets work and what happens in an emergency.
There will be restricted vehicle access as set out in a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order and enforced through signage and the use of bollards or pull-across gates. Volunteer Stewards will help to manage barriers and the police or PCSOs may support the closure when available.
Volunteer stewards are usually part of the school community but can be local residents too. They will operate the road closures in accordance with training from Norfolk County Council.
If you are exempted from the School Street vehicle restrictions then you must move through the zone at walking speed (less than 5mph) and must continue to observe all highway laws and parking restrictions (double yellow lines, zig zags etc.). However, we would encourage you to plan your journeys at other times if possible.
All vehicles already parked in the street before the times of operation would be able to leave when they need to, the Stewards are able to let you out of the School Street zone. However, we would encourage you to plan your journeys at other times if possible.
In all cases of emergency, vehicles will be permitted to leave/access the School Street zone.
Yes. Road closures will be in place during school term time and will not be affected by the weather.
School Street Exemptions
Certain vehicles are exempt from the School Street and can drive within the closure area at walking pace. The following question focus on permits and who is exempt.
The below vehicles are exempted from the School Streets closure. However, we would strongly encourage you to plan your journeys at other times if possible.
School Streets are operating on a trial basis to begin with, and automatic exemptions would be one aspect of the scheme that would be examined based on feedback during the trial.
Vehicles that are permitted to enter the School Street closure area
Resident visitors and tradespeople
Businesses – staff and customers
School staff and visitors
School and residents’ taxis
Blue badge holders
Carers serving properties within the restricted area
Buses / School minibuses
Waste lorries and statutory undertakers (such as water and gas companies)
Postal service and delivery vehicles
We will be allocating tax-disc style permits to those who are identified as being exempt from the School Street restrictions, so the Stewards can recognise you and let you through. Not everyone who is exempt will receive a permit – to find out whether you should have one, check the list below.
Permits will be allocated to the people identified in the table above with any additional permits being available upon proof of exemption at the school where they are required.
|Vehicles permitted to enter the School Street area||Permit allocated for quicker access|
|Taxis||School taxis only – if regular (not resident taxis)|
|Businesses||Staff will receive permits (not customers)|
|School staff and visitors||Staff only|
|Carers serving properties on School Streets||Yes – if regular|
|Parents/Carers with a blue badge||Yes|
|Buses / School minibuses||Only regular school minibuses|
The following people are exempt from the School Street restrictions and may travel through the area if necessary, but will not receive a permit. Stewards will be able to assist you with your journey on the day:
|Vehicles permitted to enter the School Street area||Permit allocated for quicker access|
|Resident visitors and tradespeople||No|
|Other blue badge holders (not a parent/carer of someone at the school)||No|
|Waste lorries and statutory undertakers (gas and water companies etc.)||No|
|Postal service and delivery vehicles||No|
Emergency service vehicles will always be granted immediate access to any restricted areas.
Tax disk style exemption permits will be issued to residents and regular visitors to the School Street. These will be delivered to residents and businesses before the trial begins.
Additional permits will be available from the school reception with proof of address/exemption. If you believe you should have received a permit (as per the lists above) but it has not arrived the week before a school street is due to be implemented please email [email protected]
School Streets for local residents
Yes. Residents will be permitted to enter and leave the designated School Street during operating times. As there will be children and families in the road, we require anyone needing to drive through the restricted area to limit their speed to walking pace (less than 5mph).
Carers can enter and leave the School Street at any time to carry out their caring duties. They will need to show their work ID to the stewards on the barrier/apply for an exemption. If they are not having to carry any equipment they may be asked if they would mind parking elsewhere and walking.
Access for visitors, trades people and deliveries will still be allowed, although we would ask residents to try to schedule tradespeople to arrive outside the restricted times if possible.
We would encourage you to ask any visitors to arrive outside of the times of the closure or to park outside of the zone. If access is needed for an emergency, please speak to the volunteers who will be overseeing the restricted traffic zone. Access by walking, cycling or wheeling is available at all times.
Deliveries will be allowed into the closure. However, please consider alternative delivery times if possible. As a delivery is not considered an essential service they may be asked to walk their delivery into the closure area if practical. Deliveries by foot or on a cycle are available at all times.
School Streets for Parents/Carers and Schools
No. Parents or carers dropping children at school are not able to drive into a School Street zone unless they can show that they are exempt. You would still be able to walk, cycle or scoot to school in a more friendly and safe environment. Access by walking, cycling or wheeling is available at all times.
The School Street will make it easier for pupils, parents and carers with limited mobility to access school by reducing traffic outside the school gates. Those holding valid blue badges will be exempt from the restrictions but should still avoid parking on school keep clear (zig-zag) markings.
We recognise that some members of the school community may have specific needs in terms of accessing the school. Please let your school know if that is the case and we will work with you to put in place any necessary arrangements.
School buses and taxis will be permitted to enter and leave the School Street zone, travelling at walking pace (less than 5mph).
The objective of the School Streets trial is to create a safer, healthier, and more enjoyable environment for everyone, not to penalise parents/carers. Some parents may feel frustrated at first, but will, over time, find ways to adjust their daily routines.
“Park and stride” is of course still an option. This means parking away from the school (in places such as local businesses and community centres) and walking, cycling or wheeling the rest of the way. We will be working with school communities to identify and promote Park and Stride locations, where possible, in schools that do not already have them.
Yes. If the school has on-premises parking, school staff would be permitted to enter the School Street during the timed restrictions to access the parking. We ask staff to avoid doing this if possible, and to arrive and leave outside the times the restrictions are in place. Staff will also be encouraged to walk, cycle or wheel if they are able to.
Advanced Warning Signage will be installed on surrounding roads, informing road users of the timed closure outside the school. The council will also be producing flyers and letters to notify residents, parents, school staff and local businesses. For planned meetings at the school, we recommend that staff inform visitors of the road restrictions beforehand. Visitors can park on surrounding roads outside the closure.
School Streets for Businesses, Tradespeople and Customers
Yes. Vehicles of people working at business premises on the street are permitted to enter and leave the designated School Street during operating times. As there will be children and families in the road, we require anyone needing to drive through the restricted area to limit their speed to walking pace (less than 5mph).
We would ask businesses to try to schedule deliveries so they arrive outside the restricted times, if possible. If this is not possible, delivery drivers would be permitted to enter the zone although if the delivery is small they may be asked if they would consider carrying it.
Yes. Customers will be permitted access to business premises on the street although they may be asked if they would consider parking elsewhere and walking. We require everyone to drive at walking pace (less than 5mph) if they need to drive through the street during the restricted times.
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