New campaign launched at Pontefract school to encourage pupils to use active travel

Wakefield Council has launched a new campaign at Carleton Park J&I School in Pontefract to encourage pupils to walk, cycle or scooter to school.

‘School Streets’ is an 18-month pilot programme from September 2021 to April 2023 which will improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions on school streets and promote healthy and active travel.

The scheme has also been launched at Kettlethorpe High School in Sandal, Ryhill JI&N School and Girnhill Infant School in Featherstone with five further ‘School Streets’ being introduced before the end of the year.

To make this a safe, healthier, pleasant environment, the streets will be closed to through traffic Monday to Friday regardless of school holidays or bank holidays and only permit holders, emergency and utilities vehicles will be able to enter.

‘Park and Stride’ sites are being set up near to each school, where parents can park and walk their children to school. To encourage students to cycle or scoot to school, cycle and scooter parks have been provided within the school grounds.

Matthew Morley smiling
Cllr Matthew Morley

Schools signing up to the campaign will also receive road safety training, a tree planting offer, a fleet of bikes and scooters, cycle and scooter training and cycle maintenance training.

Cllr Matthew Morley, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Highways, said: “It’s been great to see the pupils and their families at Carleton Park J&I School embrace this important initiative, which has three main goals – active travel, healthier lifestyles and a healthier environment.”

The campaign is part of West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s region-wide scheme to enable more children to cycle or scoot to school.   

Cllr Manisha Kaushik, West Yorkshire Transport Committee Lead Member for Active Travel, said: “It’s fantastic to see this brilliant scheme providing Wakefield schools with new facilities, which will give many families more opportunity to travel more actively. 

“The scheme is supported by our Active Travel fund which helps people in our communities to travel by bike and on foot. That is more important than ever as we look to address the health, transport and economic challenges created by COVID-19. It’s also vital in helping our region achieve its aim of becoming a net zero carbon economy by 2038.” 

Street signs will be erected to inform the public about the restrictions. When the Experimental Traffic Regulation Order goes into force to close each road, it will be an offence to drive through the street without a valid permit. The Police can enforce the order and may perform random checks if necessary. Fixed penalty notices may be issued for violations.

Permits are free. Every home along the street will receive three permits each from the Council. These will be posted out. The school will issue permits to parents/carers with mobility issues. People who work on the street will also receive free permits.

Each school will publicise the measures to parents.

Schools that require further information can contact SchoolStreets@wakefield.gov.uk