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Safe travel

School Streets

School Streets plate showing times of road closure
TRO sign displaying times vehicles are not permitted at the School Street at Ladysmith School, Exeter

School Streets = Traffic free roads outside schools.

School Streets = Less pollution and improved air quality outside schools

School Streets = Gives families more space outside schools 

School Streets = More children walking, cycling and scooting.


This School Streets webpage acts as the ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ with Devon County Council and the School. 

  • What is a School Street?

    • A School Street is a road that temporarily restricts motorised traffic, twice a day, every day at set school travel times during term time.
    • Bollards are placed into ‘sockets’ across the road at an agreed point to restrict traffic, forming the School Street. The bollards are placed on the road by School Street Operatives.
    • School Street Operatives provide access for residents, emergency services and blue badge holders etc. This is done by temporarily removing the bollards to allow access in or out of the school street, and then place the bollards back again once access has been gained.
    • School Streets do not replace any existing road safety or active travel measures such as School Crossing Patrols or Walking Buses.

  • Why School Streets?

    • It can be a bit chaotic outside the school gates at school travel time!. School Streets help to reduce this and give families a safer space.
    • A road free from vehicles could typically gain hundreds of square metres of space for pedestrians.
    • To improve road safety and to maintain social distancing that may be needed at certain times due to Covid-19.
    • It increases the likelihood that children will walk or cycle to school instead of by car.
    • Fewer car trips to and from school will help to improve air quality, encourage more exercise.
    • Less congestion at peak times and reduces road traffic collisions.

  • Devon County Council Responsibilities

    • Arrange the legal timed traffic restriction of the nominated ‘School Street’ through a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO)
    • Devon County Council funds School Streets dependant on available budget and other School Streets requested.
    • Carry out a Safety Assessment of the scheme.
    • Provide PPE – fluorescent high visibility jackets which must be worn by the School Street Operative/s.
    • Install ‘sockets’ into the road surface and install legal road signage with the timings and restrictions. Supply bollards and signage to restrict traffic movement.
    • Provide training and guidance for School Street Operatives as per this webpage on how to operate a School Street.
    • Arrange Civil Parking Enforcement for schools with existing Traffic Orders in place (Double Yellow lines), when needed

  • School Responsibilities

    • Be responsible for operating the School Street at the agreed times, twice daily, every day during term time in the manner instructed. It is crucial to the success of the scheme that the School Street is operated every day, regardless of the weather or staff availability.
    • The ideal operation is do a full road closure with both lanes closed and staffed with a School Street Operative at all times of the closure.
    • For schools that cannot provide this level of staffing, at a minimum the school must close the inbound lane. The ‘inbound’ lane only model of closure does not require a School Street operative to be in attendance during the operating times.
    • If the ‘inbound’ only model is deployed, the school must randomly fully close both lanes and staff the School Street on a minimum of three days per term. These dates must not be  advertised to parents.
    • If parents are ignoring the ‘inbound’ lane only closure and choosing to drive into a legally closed road, the school should fully close both lanes. This will then reinforce the School Street scheme.
    • The school should be prepared to film any incidents of parents illegally driving into an ‘inbound only’ closed school street. Footage of the incident should be submitted to Devon and Cornwall Police’s Operation Snap
    • Recruit, select and appoint suitable persons to provide the role of School Street Operatives. Ensure only people who have received training and guidance carry out the role of School Street Operative.
    • Ensure all School Street Operatives are DBS checked.
    • Provide a minimum of a single School Street Operative, either staff or volunteers at the point of access to the School Street or each point if there are more than a single closure point.
    • Appoint a School Street Co-ordinator within the school and ensure they have the contact details of all School Street Operatives.
    • Develop a timetable and rota for the School Street Operatives.
    • Include the School Street Operatives in other relevant training and development opportunities, e.g. Safeguarding, Risk Management, First Aid.
    • Promote the scheme to parents, children and local residents. It is particularly important to do this for each yearly intake and to remind parents during the summer holiday before the year starts.
    • Seek advice from Devon County Council Road Safety Team should the road situation and conditions change significantly.
    • Inform Devon County Council Road Safety Team of any problems or incidents.
    • Ensure that bollards are in good condition, clean and replace if necessary.
    • Should the school decide to stop running the School Street the school must notify Devon County Council and write to the parents and residents with the date the scheme would end.
    • Devise and maintain the list of vehicles that are exempt from the School Street restriction, e.g. residents living on the closed street, Blue Badge holders.
    • Consider issuing residents with a permit/badge to be displayed in the windscreen for ease of access to the School Street when in operation.
    • Other people that can access the closed street:

    Pedestrians
    People who are cycling or scooting
    Residents who live on the street
    Blue Badge holders
    Emergency services
    Parents or carers with an exemption (provided by the school on a case by case basis)
    Doctors and care visitors to residents in the street
    Business owners with premises in the street
    School staff, or others, accessing on-premises parking. Try to avoid doing this if possible
    Contracted school transport
    Businesses making deliveries
    Trades people doing work to a home on the street.

    All drivers/motorcyclists who are permitted to enter the closed road are strongly encouraged to try to time their arrivals and departures outside of the closure times. This will reduce the number of vehicles on the street while families are arriving at or leaving school.

    Parents/carers cannot drive into the School Street, unless there is a specific reason agreed with the school.

  • School Street Operative responsibilities

    • Place the bollards into the ‘sockets’ in the road surface to close the ‘inbound’ direction of traffic first.
    • Set the bollards out in a timely and consistent manner each day.
    • Remove and safely store bollards at the end of the closure periods.
    • Use the Green Cross Code before stepping onto the carriageway to set out the bollards.
    • Use best practice for the manual handling of bollards. See the HSE Manual Handling at Work guidance
    • Always face any oncoming traffic whilst placing out bollards in the carriageway.
    • When operating the School Street and bollards are in place, stand on the pavement where possible or as near to the kerb as possible. Do not stand in the middle of the road.
    • To provide entry and exit to the street only open the correct lane, i.e. only open the inbound lane to incoming traffic and out bound lane for outbound traffic.
    • Carry out a Dynamic Risk Assessment – see the next section.
    • Provide access and egress to exempt vehicles by temporarily moving bollards, when the road is closed with bollards inbound and outbound.
    • School Street Operatives must not attempt to stop challenge or direct any vehicles from entering or leaving the School Street area. Any incidents should be recorded and reported.
    • School Street Operatives must be polite and courteous as they are representing the School and the wider School community.
    • Inform the school if they are not able to work.
    • Wear high visibility clothing whilst operating the School Street.
    • Notify the Head teacher of any motorists observed to ignore the ‘inbound’ lane only closure if they are not exempt. Be prepared to film any such incidents and submit footage to Devon and Cornwall Operation Snap.

  • Dynamic risk assessment

    • Dynamic risk assessment is the practice of mentally observing, assessing and analysing an environment while we work to identify, remove or manage risk. The process allows individuals to identify a hazard on the spot and make quick decisions regarding safety.
    • Identify what is already being done and what else needs to be done to control the risk.
    • Each time the School Street Operative sets up the School Street they must check to see if anything has changed e.g.
      • Trip hazards
      • Slippery surfaces (ice paths/roads/spillages)
      • Poor visibility (fog, heavy rain, snow etc)
      • Roadworks
      • Parked vehicles
      • Faults with the highway surface.
    • If it’s not a significant hazard there will be control measures that can be put in place. Major hazards will need to be reported to the School who can contact the Council for advice.

  • Consultation process

    • Residents within the closure area will be contacted individually.
    • Notices advertising the potential road closure are published and also fixed to posts/lamp columns.
    • In the meantime, any concerns or feedback can be directed to the school and the local Devon County Council Councillor

  • Incidents

    • If there is an incident or ‘near miss’ or when a School Street Operative considers that a driver has contravened the legal access restrictions or behaved in a dangerous way the School Street Operative should inform the School.
    • Record the vehicle details and If possible, film the incident and submit to Devon and Cornwall Police Operation Snap. 
    • The Operative can also report this to the Police on their non-emergency number 101 or website.
    • For more serious incidents the Operative should call the Police on 999 and the School. The Operative should obtain as much information and evidence as possible – vehicle registration mark, type and colour, date, time and names and contact details of two witnesses.

  • Insurance

    • School Street Operatives at Devon County Council maintained Schools will be insured under the Council’s public liability policy.
    • Schools that are not Devon County Council maintained schools must make their own insurance arrangements for their School Street Operatives. The Council’s insurance is limited to the Council’s schools.

  • How to apply for a School Street

    • Provide a current School Travel Plan first.
    • Recruit volunteers who are committed to staff the closure points.
    • Have the support of their local Devon County Councillor.
    • School Streets will not work at for every school. Closing a road that is on a bus route, heavily trafficked or would cause other traffic issues may not be possible.
    • It can take several months to get the School Street operational – e.g. the Traffic Regulation Order process and other work that is required
    • Schools that are in a position to commit to a School Street or need more information, please email rshelp@devon.gov.uk

  • Useful links

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