School Streets FAQ

School Streets FAQ

Brookburn School Street Trial

Frequently Asked Questions 

This FAQ document is intended to help support community engagement with School Streets at Brookburn Primary School and is a working document that will be regularly updated to help ensure everyone has correct and up to date information. It aims to include responses to questions that are received in correspondence or at public meetings.


What is a School Street?

A School Street is a road outside a school with a temporary restriction on motorised traffic at school drop-off and pick-up times. The restriction applies to school traffic and through traffic.

 

Why School Streets?

School Street schemes offer a proactive solution for communities to tackle air pollution, poor health and road danger reduction 

They enable this by making the streets more accessible for the school and wider community, and in conjunction with other measures, help create a calmer and safer environment near the school which encourages and enables pupils, staff, parents/carers and visitors to more regularly walk, cycle or scoot for an active, healthier and sustainable journey to and from school. 

By reducing school traffic, school streets have been shown to reduce congestion on streets around a school, and to reduce the overall number of local car trips, thereby reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality for all.  By encouraging a more active school run, they have also been shown to help communities develop more active travel habits as a whole, which is good for people, place and planet.

 
Click on the links below to learn more about School Streets: 

Why School Streets? - Brookburn active travel fact sheet

Sustrans guide to school streets

Living Streets guide to safer routes to school including school streets toolkit

Schoolstreets initiative website

Hackney School Street toolkit 

Stockport School Street trial 

 
Click on the following links for more information about air quality and childrens health:

Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health UK air quality position statement

UNICEF Healthy Air for every child: A call for national action


Why Brookburn?

In May 2021, Transport for Greater Manchester announced availability of some funding and support for up to 50 schools in the region to develop School Streets with the aim of tackling air pollution, promoting healthy lifestyles, and working towards the region's zero carbon target.  Brookburn was put forward as a potential school, based on the learning and success of the previous trials, the suitability of the site, and the identified need to take further steps for a safer, healthier school run. 

Brookburn is one of 7 schools across Manchester and one of fifty across Greater Manchester trialling the School Streets scheme. Due to its experience holding four one day School Streets trials, Brookburn Primary was invited by Manchester City Council to participate in this six month scheme. This has in part been in response to issues raised by residents, school staff and parents relating to pavement parking, car idling, congestion and dangerous motorist behaviour around the school at drop off and pick up times. The trial is one aspect of a wider vision to make the journey to and from school a safer and more active one for the local community.

 

How do School Streets work?

Access for motor vehicles to some roads around a school are restricted at school drop off and pick up times. The road affected at Brookburn Primary will be the main section of Brookburn Road, directly outside of the main entrance. This closure will be governed by an Experimental Traffic Restriction Order (ETRO) issued by Manchester Council after the formal MCC Highways Department period of consultation.

Residents within the School Streets zone,  essential visitors such as care-workers, essential services such as bin-lorries, and blue badge holders can access the road. A volunteer marshal will accompany any vehicles leaving or entering the zone, at a walking pace. 

Emergency vehicles will be given automatic access.

The restricted section of the road will be closed to school traffic and general through traffic. Parents/guardians will not be able to park within the restricted area to drop off/collect pupils. Parents/guardians are asked to either leave their car at home and try a healthier and more active school run, or to park their car further away and then walk, cycle or scoot the rest of the way. Parents/carers needing to drive to school will be asked to use Chorlton Ees car park.

 

How will the road closure happen?

Road Closed signs and cones will be used at the points of the road closure to clearly identify the School Street zone. Road Ahead Closed signs will be placed a short distance ahead of the closure zone, alongside diversion signs, to guide car traffic away from the School Street zone and to avoid any congestion or cars turning around at the closure point. The proposed diversion route is marked on the map below - this may change, subject to feedback, over the course of the trial. 

Roads will be closed for short periods (40 minutes) at the start and end of the school day, and only when the road signs and cones are in place. For the purpose of this trial,  the only closure will be a section of Brookburn Road as shown above. This will be during the times 8:30-9:10 and 15:10-15:50. Please be assured that the closure will be lifted promptly at 9:10 and 15:50.

Volunteer marshals/stewards wearing high visibility clothing will manage traffic at the road closure. Marshals will advise Brookburn parents/guardians and other non-residents of how to navigate around the closure, where needed. Training will take place to ensure all marshals/stewards are clear about how a School Street works, who has access, and their role and responsibilities.

Residents living within the Brookburn Road School Street zone will have full access to and from their home during the period of the road closure. 

 

Proposal for Brookburn School Streets trial September 2022 - February 2023

While Brookburn has been named a Transport for Greater Manchester School Streets trial location for the 2022/2023 school year, the exact details of how this will look and be rolled out is yet to be fully determined. As stated in a letter sent to the school community and residents during the week of 13 June 2022, much of how this trial will be carried out will depend on community volunteer involvement and this is an opportunity for our school and local community to further discuss and test how this can work in practice and how we can collaborate to ensure that the needs and safety of all stakeholders can be considered. 

The current aspiration is for a phased introduction of School Street trials over the 2022/2023 school year.  Any increase in frequency is dependant upon the success of trials, feedback from local stakeholders and capacity of volunteer marshals. The current aspiration is to gradually increase along the following lines:

September/October - once a week 
November - twice a week  
December - 3 times a week  
January - everyday 
February - everyday 

Stakeholder engagement, feedback and consultation

The current proposal for the School Street trial is subject to ongoing dialogue and feedback, with the view that this is the most robust way to ensure plans are developed in a way that works for all stakeholders. All feedback and dialogue on how we best achieve our shared aims are welcome.

A one-off formal consultation is not considered to be appropriate or adequate in the proposal and trialling of School Streets, for a number of reasons. In particular, it is impossible to accurately predict what exactly may happen on any given day,  how this will differ (or not)  on different weekdays, in different weather, and over the course of a whole school year. It is best for all stakeholders that the scheme is tested, monitored, and learning shared through ongoing reflection and this approach will be the backbone of developing School Streets through a series of trials at Brookburn. This will be facilitated through ongoing opportunities to feedback via meetings, informal dialogue at local events and via email and other communication. 

The plans will be subject to on-going dialogue to include:

  • Pre-consultation - informal PTA-led information sharing, engagement, dialogue and listening at 3 community engagement meetings during June-July 2022. An initial letter from Brookburn School and PTA which included notice of three, one-off, trial days which were intended to help form part of this more informal engagement and learning process. These trial dates were subsequently cancelled due to concerns raised by residents and to give time and space for the dialogue that followed.
  • Formal consultation - Manchester Council-led legal consultation on the proposed six month trial, July-August 2022. This will be initiated by Manchester City Council Highways Department via a formal letter to residents living within the restricted area and on streets affected by the proposed diversion. 
  • Community workshop - Following MCC's consultation, a workshop is proposed for September 2022 for residents and members of the school community to develop and shape the School Streets trial. Further details about dates for the workshop will be shared in the coming weeks.

 

Process, feedback and learning to date

Over the last two years, four one day School Streets trials were held on Brookburn Road (February 2020, November 2020, June 2021, October 2021).  

These trials were organised by Brookburn PTA and Brookburn Primary's senior leadership team, with support from school staff, local Councillors, local residents and the Council. 

The one-off trials provided opportunities to test and learn and to start to surface any potential challenges. They also supported wider engagement with pupils, parents/guardians and local stakeholders on the question of how to reduce the number of car trips to and from the school and how to enable a more green, active and safe school run.

Research and engagement on the School Streets at Brookburn has included:

- 22nd September 2019 - Play Street held on a Sunday with positive feedback received from residents and the school community and suggestions for a weekday School Street

- October 2019 - Air quality survey conducted over 3 days by a Brookburn parent using a Flow pollution monitor. The survey found air pollution levels ranged from moderate to very high (above 100 AQI) during school drop off and pick up times. The pollutants measured consisted of:

  • PM 2.5 particuates under 2.5 microns diameter
  • PM10 particulates under 10 microns diameter
  • NO2 - Nitrogen dioxide, mainly from combustion
  • VOC Volatile Organic Compounds (mainly carbon)

- February 2020 - "Greener Brookburn Survey" of students, school staff, parents, and the wider community to gauge opinions on priorities for environmental initiatives at Brookburn. Respondents identified air pollution and the climate emergency as two of their top five concerns and priorities. 

- 14th February 2020 - School Street held on Brookburn Road

- October/November 2020 - Sustrans conducts a school-run traffic survey and site assessment of every Chorlton primary school, including Brookburn Primary, to help identify a potential site for the Our Streets Chorlton School Streets Case Study

- November 2020 - "Brookburn Community Travel Survey" of parents/guardians to understand how families travel to school, what their barriers are to active travel, what would facilitate more active modes of transport, and views on the School Streets scheme. Key findings showed that 77% of respondents supported at least a weekly School Street with 57% in favour of a daily School Street.

- 26th-27th November 2020 - Teachers conduct a "Student Travel Survey" with pupils to find out how they travelled to school on a regular school day compared with a School Streets day. Survey results found that car journeys were reduced by half on School Street days from 27% of students travelling by car to 14%.

- 27th November 2020 - School Street held on Brookburn Road

- December 2020 - Our Streets Chorlton identifies Barlow Hall Primary as the site of its School Streets case study. As part of the case study, Our Streets Chorlton works with Open Data Manchester to monitor air quality and traffic data around Barlow Hall Primary and other areas of Chorlton. This also involves installing a Telraam traffic camera on Brookburn Road. The Our Streets Chorlton staff continue to support Brookburn Primary and 9 other area schools by creating the School Champions Network so that parents and school staff from each school can regularly meet to share ideas, learnings, and develop plans for improving active travel at Chorlton schools over a period of 18 months.

- 18th June 2021 - School Street held on Brookburn Road and Brookburn school/PTA works alongside Our Streets Chorlton and a number of local schools to hold a week of School Streets and climate action events across Chorlton

- 20th October 2021 - School Street held on Brookburn Road

- 2nd November 2020 - Brookburn's School Streets trials are featured in a Times Education Supplement article titled "How to cut car use and create a walk-to-school culture"

- 1st March 2022 - Our Streets Chorlton community forum on School Streets with presentation from Manchester Council to announce that Brookburn has been invited to be a trial site for the TfGM funded School Streets trial. This also marked the completion of the Our Streets Chorlton project - click here for a summary of Our Street Chorlton's work with local schools.

- 29th June 2022 - Online community information meeting held to discuss the proposed 6-month trial and listen to resident and school community questions, suggestions, and feedback about the proposal

- 6th July 2022 - In-person community information meeting held at the Bowling Green Pub to discuss the proposed 6-month trial and listen to resident and school community questions, suggestions, and feedback about the proposal

- 15th July 2022 - Info table at Brookburn Summer Ceilidh where the School Streets team was joined by TfGM's active travel officer and the Listen 2 Manchester project which will be monitoring traffic using seismometers 

 

Will the closure lead to traffic simply being displaced to further down the road and create congestion in other areas?

This is not an anticipated outcome. The aim of a School Street is to reduce overall vehicle traffic by encouraging more families to travel to and from school by foot or bicycle.

Findings from an evidence based review by Edinburgh Napier University found that closing streets around schools to traffic at drop-off and pick up times can help lower congestion, improves air quality and doesn't cause problems to local traffic flow. In almost all examples of School Streets looked at, the total number of cars on streets around the school and local area reduced significantly. School Streets cut car traffic on surrounding streets. There is no evidence to show that if cars move out of the roads around a school, that they cause road safety problems elsewhere in the local area. No studies showed any negative impacts on road safety from motorised traffic flows being adjusted. Click here to download the full report.


How will traffic and air pollution levels be monitored?

There is a plan being developed to collect data from traffic cameras, seismometers, and air pollution monitors placed within the School Street zone and in the surrounding areas, including potential diversion zones. Data will be captured at baseline and during School Streets days. Seismometers will monitor vibrations from passing traffic that can be reliably interpreted into a measure of car traffic volume. 

The data will be open source and available for access by the public. This data will guide the School Streets team on any traffic displacement or traffic evaporation that has occurred as a result of the School Street, and will be analysed and used as a key part of the learning and progressing of the scheme.

Traffic data is already available from a Telraam traffic camera on Brookburn Rd. This camera displays hour by hour data on volume and type of traffic which passes, as well as pedestrians and cycles. Comparisons can be easily made on a date and time basis.

Click here to view the Telraam traffic data for Brookburn Road.


Legal permissions and costs

The marked section of Brookburn road will be subject to an Experimental Traffic Order for the period of the 6 month trial.

The cost of an Experimental Traffic Order has been funded by Transport for Greater Manchester and Manchester City Council for the purpose of this trial.

 

Communications

It is important that all local stakeholders receive as much information as possible, and in a clear and accessible format, to avoid misunderstanding.

TfGM, Manchester Council, Brookburn Primary school and PTA will be working together to coordinate future communications to ensure that full and accurate communication reaches local stakeholders in a timely way and to ensure clarity of roles and responsibilities going forward.  

All feedback is welcomed throughout the process to include suggestions on ways to improve communication in the future. 

Links to further information from Manchester City Council and Transport for Greater Manchester will be shared when available. 


Correspondence

Any views, questions, and feedback can be emailed to activetravel@brookburnpta.com.  Correspondence to this address will be shared with Brookburn Primary's senior leadership, Manchester City councillors for Chorlton ward and local MCC neighbourhood officers.


How can I help?

Each School Streets closure will require at least four volunteer marshals to oversee the safe and smooth movement of students, families and traffic through the area. We are working alongside WalkRide Greater Manchester to create a pool of school and community volunteers who can help out. Please sign up and indicate your availability at www.brookburnpta.com or email activetravel@brookburnpta.com


Have you thought about options such as walking buses, speed bumps, zebra crossings?

In this phase of informal consultation and planning, we are open to all ideas and options for improving road safety and air quality around school. Please send ideas by email to the above address and the School Streets team will make note of them and explore further. School Streets are a known effective tool for promoting active travel and improving road safety and air quality around schools, which are our main objectives. 

Other traffic management and traffic calming suggestions were put forward at the two public meetings to date. These can be explored further during the course of the trial:

  • Encourage parents/carers to park in Irish Club car park, Bowling Green or down the cobbled lane
  • Park and ride/park and stride. 
  • More zebra crossings around Chorlton and at Brookburn. 
  • Improve safe routes to school generally.
What’s on

EYFS Teddy Bears' Picnic
11:00 - 13:00
Brookburn Primary School

Brookburn School Streets Trial
08:30 - 15:50 on 24/02/2023
Brookburn Road

MOTHERLOAD Film Screening @ The Edge
18:00 - 20:00
The Edge Theatre & Arts Centre, Chorlton

Your Committee
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Fundraising

WE DID IT! Thank you so much. Our events in the Summer Term - plant sale, Open Gardens, Quiz, Raffle & Ceilidh pushed us past our target and the PLAYGROUND is coming this Autumn!

Can you help?

We can’t put on these amazing events without your help. If you can help us, we still need the following volunteers:

EYFS Teddy Bears' Picnic (Friday 02 September)

Brookburn Buddy 11:00 - 13:00 94

Tweets by @BrookburnPTA



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