Parents in London could be fined if they use their car for the school run, due to new plans to tackle air pollution and road gridlock.
Behind the ‘School Streets’ initiative, Hackney Council is trialling a car ban at St John the Baptist C of E Primary School in Hoxton and Tyssen Community Primary School in Stamford Hill. If popular, the measures could be rolled out across the capital.
The ban will cover streets around the schools during morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up times, with pupils and their families being encouraged instead to walk or cycle.
The first ‘School Street’ to close will be Crondall Street outside St John the Baptist, starting in June, after consultation, followed by Oldhill Street outside Tyssen Primary from September. Tyssen accepts children as young as 2.
Feryal Demirci, Hackney’s Cabinet member for neighbourhoods, transport and parks, told the Standard: “Too many children in Hackney are driven to school. It’s bad for air quality and it’s bad for their health. School Streets is one thing we’re doing to try to make it safer and easier for children to walk and cycle to school”. She also said that “shocking footage” of cars driving on the pavement outside Tyssen Primary showed more action was needed.
If parents do choose to drive, they could be fined up to £130 – which is a hefty cost for some. The cost would be reduced £65 if paid with 14 days.
Mother-of-one Tara Faley, 24, said dangerous drivers were putting lives at risk and were “completely oblivious to everything else and people just park or drive where they want”.
Psychiatrist and mother-of-two Amina Rawat, 44, said: “The school needs to help parents find another way to drop their kids off. There has to be an alternative. The fine is a lot of money — especially for families here.”
Author Lex Barber