From May 2022, Local Councils can apply to the Department for Transport for powers to enforce moving traffic offences. These can include the power to enforce school streets by issuing fixed penalty notice fines of up to £70 to anyone who violates them.
The motion below (adapted from one moved by Lib Dems on Surrey County Council) calls for your Council to start the process of applying to the DfT for the powers to introduce and enforce school streets.
Council notes that:
- “School street” schemes, which close the roads outside schools during drop-off and pick-up times, have the multiple benefits of improving road safety for pupils, encouraging active travel to school by walking, cycling and public transport, and improve the air quality and environment around schools.
- Air pollution around schools is at its worst during peak drop-off and pick-up times.
- School street schemes have been successfully introduced or trialled in multiple local authorities across the UK.
Council recognises that as an authority we do not have the statutory powers to enforce moving traffic offences, and therefore we cannot currently introduce enforceable and safe school streets in AREA NAME.
However Council further notes the recent announcement by the Department for Transport that, from May 2022, Local Council’s can apply for powers to fine those who disobey certain rules of the road – such as driving through ‘no-entry’ signs. Council recognises that these powers could be used to legally enforce school streets.
Council therefore resolves to:
- Apply to the DfT for powers to legally enforce moving traffic offences in AREA NAME – through issuing fixed-penalty notices of up to £70.
- Produce a fully-costed plan to set up the back-office functions to enforce traffic offences and administer / process fines within the Council’s framework.
- Work with all ward councillors and area committees to identify schools within our authority-area that would benefit from a school street and where a school street could practically be put in place – and compile a list of schools where school street trials can be launched as soon as possible once Council has the relevant powers to enforce them.
- Explore further ways in which Council can enforce moving traffic violations under these new powers – including illegal turns, driving into no-entry zones, stopping in box junctions, driving in cycle lanes and ignoring one-way street rules.
- Continue to work with all schools in [AREA NAME] to develop accredited Travel Plans, which could include enforceable No-Idling Zones and “school streets” schemes. Measure air quality around a sample of schools across our Council area at child-head height to identify the level of air pollution children are being exposed to at school drop-off and pick-up. Explore additional; measures to improve air quality near schools such as “living green walls” and tree planting