School Streets scheme update
In late July, we highlighted Havering Council’s proposed School Street schemes, to ban vehicles entering specified roads from 8 – 9.30am and 2.30 – 4pm on Monday to Friday, during school term times. The local schools effected are Branfill, Engayne and James Ogelthorpe.
The current consultation period for each scheme runs until 09 August (extended from its original date), with the School Street schemes intended to be introduced in September.
Since the consultations started, RA councillors have been contacted by many residents of the streets within the proposed areas, who are concerned about the adverse effect that will have on their roads.
Whilst most acknowledge that reducing car usage and pollution around schools is something that should be encouraged, some major concerns have been identified in the way the schemes will operate. These primarily relate to the fact that the only exemptions will be for residents within the zones who register vehicles (they must already be registered with the DVLA at the property) and for school children with valid Blue Badges in their name (not the driver).
The main concerns are –
- The times prescribed are the same for all of the proposed areas across Havering and do not take into account whether local conditions in certain areas may mean that these times are not appropriate.
- Carers visiting residents will not be exempt.
- What happens about deliveries due in an extended time slot, such as 8am – 12 noon? Will deliveries be missed due to drivers arriving during the restricted periods and not being willing to wait?
- Home delivery slots for groceries will not be able to be booked during the restricted times.
- Taxis, mini cabs, hospital mini-buses and other transport for vulnerable residents will not be exempt.
- Council vehicles, such as refuse vehicles, will not be able to enter.
- Will the early starting time for the schemes mean that some deliveries to the schools concerned or building materials etc. to homes, start being scheduled to arrive very early in the morning?
- What is the likely impact on neighbouring roads, located just outside the scheme areas?
- How clear and obvious will the signage be? RA councillors are concerned that people unfamiliar with the zones may accidentally drive into them without realising the prohibition and receive tickets.
- Havering Council officials seem to have intimated, when contacted, that the schemes will be introduced, whatever the result of the consultations.
Residents’ Association councillors urge all residents in the areas concerned, and anyone else likely to be effected, to take part in the consultation via the Council’s website.
Havering Council will be holding an online Facebook consultation Q&A session between 2.30 – 3.30pm on Thursday 06 August.