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Cllr Mason and Cllr Costigan with pupils from Villiers High School as it becomes a street school

More pupils get school street smart

Villiers High School in Southall has become the first secondary school in the borough to sign on as a school street.

Ealing Council’s school streets programme encourages more children and young people to travel to and from school on foot or by bike or scooter in a safe, fun and active way.

Councillor Peter Mason, leader of Ealing Council, and Councillor Deirdre Costigan, deputy leader and cabinet member for climate action, joined teachers and students at the high school on Monday 4 March to mark its entry into the scheme.

Councillor Mason said: “A quarter of London’s morning traffic is made up of parents driving their children to school, yet most students in Ealing live within a mile of their school. That’s why, as part of our wider ambition to create more space for active travel and improve air quality in the borough, we made a commitment in our council plan to rapidly expand our school streets programme.

“We are committed to helping residents choose clean, sustainable and active forms of travel and we’re delighted that so many schools are joining in on our efforts.”

Part of being a school street means the streets around a school are closed to most traffic at school opening and closing times, ensuring children arriving or leaving are safer from traffic.

Another school, Stanhope Primary, also joined the scheme this week, and Greenwood Primary School started last week.

The majority of pupils live within a 20-minute walk or 5/10 minute cycle to school. Most primary school aged children (84%) in the borough live within 1 mile of their school, with 83% of secondary school students living within 2 miles.

Councillor Costigan said: “From Southall to Greenford and across our 7 towns, it’s great to see more of our young people able to walk and cycle to school in safety. With 28 schools now signed up, we are well on our way to deliver on our promise of 50 school streets in the borough by 2026.

“By signing up to the council’s plans, schools and pupils are helping to fight traffic congestion and air pollution, while also making families healthier and safer.”

The council is making a £10 million investment to increase active travel like cycling, walking, running, and scooting, and encouraging more motorists to leave the car at home.

If you need to drive, please don’t forget the importance of switching off your vehicle engine when idling.

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