Islington’s first School Street Scheme is now up and running in a bid to bring better air quality and improved road safety for children.

In a 2016 study, St John Evangelist Catholic Primary School in Angel was found to have the highest levels of nitrogen dioxide at any Islington primary school.

Now it has Islington’s first School Street Scheme, which aims to reduce traffic outside schools at drop off and pick up, cutting pollution, improving road safety and encouraging more walking and cycling.

In a consultation earlier this year, 83 per cent of responses backed the proposal for St John Evangelist.  The School Street, which began on Monday (November 12) will run initially for an 18-month trial period.

Stephanie Day, headteacher of St John Evangelist Catholic Primary School, said: “The Governors and staff welcome the scheme, which will ensure that the road is safer for our pupils as they arrive and leave from school.

“The road outside of school is very narrow and the number of vehicles using it as the children arrive has been a safety concern for us for a number of years.  It will also help to reduce the high levels of pollution making the air quality safer for our pupils.”

Cllr Claudia Webbe, Islington Council’s executive member for environment and transport, said: “We’re delighted St John Evangelist Catholic Primary School will have Islington’s first School Street, to help improve children’s health and boost road safety.

“Our School Street Scheme aims to cut pollution outside schools and make it safer and easier for children to travel to and from school.

“Children are especially vulnerable to the damaging effects of air pollution, which is a life or death issue for London.  We’re determined to take action to improve air quality at the school gates, and we will take enforcement action against drivers who ignore this scheme to improve air quality and make roads near schools safer.

“We will be launching more School Streets soon, as part of our pioneering proposal to bring School Streets to more of Islington’s primary schools.”

Under the scheme, Duncan Street will be closed between 8.15am to 9.15am and 3.00pm to 3.45pm term time only.  Vehicles will not be able to enter the street between the times of operation unless they have been given an exemption.  Vehicles who do not have an exemption will receive a penalty charge notice.

The St John Evangelist scheme is the first School Streets Scheme in Islington, which plans to introduce schemes outside more borough primary schools.

For more information about Islington School Street Scheme see www.islington.gov.uk/schoolstreets

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School Street – Pupils and staff at St John Evangelist Catholic Primary School, which has Islington’s first School Street, with Cllr Claudia Webbe. Picture taken at start of consultation in March 2018

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