Harrogate Primary School To Benefit From Safer Streets Pilot

Families in Harrogate are to benefit from improved road safety at school drop-off and pick-up times with the introduction of a pilot scheme to limit traffic.

North Yorkshire’s first School Streets initiative is to be trialled at Oatlands Junior School from the new academic term on Wednesday, September 6. 

Beechwood Grove will be closed to traffic from 8.30am to 9am and 3pm to 3.45pm in term time to create a safer environment and encourage more children to walk, cycle or scoot to school.

The initiative, which is being adopted by many councils across the UK, promotes a heathier lifestyle, reduces congestion, improves air quality and leads to a better environment for all road users.

The measures were agreed in March when council representatives met with local schools, police, councillors and campaign groups.

North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for highways and transport, Cllr Keane Duncan, said: “The School Streets pilot is a positive step forward that represents strong community action.

“It is a result of the close partnership the council has recently established with all Pannal Ash and Oatlands area schools, local councillors and residents.

“We are optimistic about the positive impact that the pilot will have on road safety around Oatlands Junior School and feel it will be a vital step in promoting more sustainable journeys for children and families.”

Residents, school staff, blue badge holders, school transport and the emergency services will be exempt from the closure.

Road signs will be erected at the entrance of Beechwood Grove prior to the pilot and permits will be issued to those who qualify for access during the closure times.

Cllr John Mann, who represents Oatlands and Pannal on North Yorkshire Council, said: “We have been working with the local community to improve road safety and traffic management at school start and finish times.

“We want to see children having more freedom to walk, bike or scoot to school. We look forward to seeing the pilot in operation for the start of the new academic year.”

Earlier this year, 20mph vehicle activated signs were installed in Pannal Ash, and a host of other safety measures will be delivered in the coming financial year including a parallel crossing on Oatlands Drive and a signal crossing on Slingsby Walk and Wetherby Road.

The existing lining on Hookstone Road will be refreshed, and the introduction of double yellow lines will be considered.

As the nearby bridlepath is a key walking and cycling link to the school, additional signs will be installed, and vegetation cut back over the summer holidays.

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