Last reviewed 21 March 2022

Car trips to school have a huge impact on congestion, increasing toxic air pollution, carbon emissions and road danger. Before the pandemic, a quarter of weekday morning peak car trips were for school drop-offs, meaning the rush hour around schools can be busy, polluted and dangerous.

School Streets — restricting car access to the street outside a school gate to cars at drop off and pick up times — are a new way of making it safer, cleaner, and easier for children to get to school on foot, by bike or by scooter.

The first School Street was launched in Camden in 2017 and in 2019 there were fewer than 90 School Streets in London, across 20 boroughs.

According to the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, there are now more than 500 in place and, thanks to this initiative and related measures, walking is now the main way 58% of children aged between five and 11 get to school in the capital.

He highlighted that research published by City Hall, making use of the Breathe London air quality monitoring network, found that School Streets reduce nitrogen dioxide by up to 23% during morning drop-off.

“We now have more than 500 School Streets across the capital and we know children, parents and councils are keen to introduce even more,” Mr Khan said. “Transport for London (TfL) has set a new target to get 60% of primary children in London walking to school by 2026.”

See here for more information.