School streets scheme recommended to be made permanent

Monday January 14th 2019

School Streets Kings Park

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

A ban on traffic outside two primary schools during certain times of the day could be rolled out across Midlothian despite opposition from teachers.

The School Streets project saw drivers restricted from the area around the two schools during the times when pupils are travelling to and from the buildings.

It aimed to crackdown on youngsters being dropped off outside the schools and vehicles turning in the streets as other children arrived on foot or by bike.

However a report which will be presented to Midlothian councillors this week revealed that the biggest group of objectors to the scheme were teaching staff – who were also banned from driving to their work.

The pedestrian and cycle zones created outside King’s Park Primary School in Dalkeith and Lasswade Primary, Bonnyrigg, have been in place for over a year as part of a trial.

Councillors are being asked to approve a permanent introduction of the scheme at the schools.

And officials are recommending other schools are also invited to apply to introduce the scheme in their own streets.

A report to councillors revealed that the majority of parents and carers, local residents and senior pupils surveyed about the School Streets project supported it.

But, it said, while most wanted to see the scheme continue teachers were less keen.

It said: “The only group with a majority against continuing the scheme were the school staff, who have also been restricted from driving to or from school at the start of finish of the school day.

There were several suggestions (from staff and others) that staff should be eligible for permits as residents are.”

The council’s cabinet will decide on the future of the scheme at a meeting tomorrow.

The report to be presented tomorrow can be read HERE.

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