No permanent plans for school ‘no car zones’ despite positive trials

Tree stumps placed opposite Cavalry Primary School in March to stop drivers parking on grass verges

No dedicated funding for future 'no car zones' has been proposed. Pictured are tree stumps placed opposite Cavalry Primary School in March to stop drivers parking on grass verges around school time. - Credit: IAN CARTER

A car ban trial outside schools in Cambridgeshire cannot be made permanent due to no funding being available. 

Cambridgeshire County Council trialled ‘no car zones’ - also referred to as ‘school streets’ - outside seven schools across the county.  

Cars were not allowed to use sections of roads outside schools during the period when children arrived and left.

Initially two schools were planned, but additional funding became available through the emergency active travel fund to expand the trial.  

The seven schools included were Alconbury Primary School, Hartford Junior School, Hatton Park Primary School, Willingham Primary School, St Matthew’s Primary School, St Philip’s Primary School and Park Street Primary School.  

At the initial two schools, signs were used to notify of the restrictions, but at the other schools, the schemes were run by the community with volunteers helping to place signs and barriers.  

A report presented to councillors at a strategy and resources committee meeting on March 29 said there had been a positive outcome from the trial.  

Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Chris Boden said he welcomed the initial results and the opportunity to make entrances and exits of schools safer.  

Most Read

The committee agreed to support new schemes, where funding is available, however no dedicated funding for future schemes has been proposed.  

The report suggested that any new schemes would be dependent on third party funding, through grant applications or community funds, or as bids submitted to the local highway improvement scheme.  

Cllr Boden added that it was important that any future schools looking at future schemes would need to be looked at on an individual basis, raising that a no car zone may not be appropriate at every school.  

It has been estimated that new schemes would cost around £2,000 to £5,000 each.  

Cllr Steve Count said he was “disappointed” that despite getting a positive response from the trial, the administration has not made money available for future schemes.  

In response, the leader of the county council, Lucy Nethsingha said: “We will be looking in the future at whether there is more money available for this and for other schemes in highways.”