Help Forum

Help requested posted on 21st May 2020:

Space for safe distancing outside schools

Like probably every other LHA at the moment, we are working to provide safe space for 'socially distanced' walking and cycling, as well as for safe waiting and queuing outside shops, transport hubs etc. One of the key areas is schools, as they start to return with increasing pupil numbers. How have other areas assessed and prioritised locations and provided solutions for the footways and roads outside schools? Have you provided hard measures or just guidance, or a combination of both? (I'm aware that many places may have had plans in place for 'School Streets' schemes that can be accelerated easily, but we are not in that situation yet here.)

Jane Deeley

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Response posted on 27th May 2020 by:
Mark Symonds

T: 01314693817

Space for safe distancing outside schools

Hi Jane,

We are looking at hard measures, some permanent and some temporary road closures and addition of temporary pavement extensions or cycle lanes using barriers or bolt down kerbs.
We are also looking at introducing where possible a one gate in and another out for school access.

It's quite labour intensive surveying everything but I think necessary to reduce the need for people to pass close by as much as possible.

We've also been consulting on measures and asking for suggestions.

I hope this helps!

Best wishes from Edinburgh!


Response posted on 28th May 2020 by:
Cheryl Evans

T: 01635 519984

Space for safe distancing outside schools

Thanks for raising this Jane - anything that can be shared would be appreciated. Our H&S teams have provided schools with a risk assessment template and they seem to be managing with a staggered drop off and pick up times which is Ok for this early stages as only small numbers returning. Any early feedback - good and bad from across the UK would really help all LA's as this is something we will all have to contend with especially with a possibility of a full return in September. At least received the schedule from our Education team for return today so that will be really helpful. There has been a revised document around SCP in relation to COVID-19 but not seen anything for walking and cycling RSGB guidelines (but maybe something in the pipeline)
Certainly from what I can see from the RS there is strict limitations around school visitors so a COVID-19 dedicated page on how RSO's are continuing work along with help on this sort of stuff would be beneficial???? Will keep you posted from sunny West Berkshire.

Response posted on 10th June 2020 by:
Ann Grant

T: 0208-921-8411

Space for safe distancing outside schools

Adjusting to the new normal is proving trickier. At school entrances 2m markings and information are visible with one way access and exit points marked. Queuing systems are more difficult as footways may be narrower and roadside furniture is impinging on space. Once families leave school, they tend to change mindset and it is difficult to remind them about social distancing at crossing points such as islands, pelicans and zebras. Temp markings there have supported this. Currently, numbers at school are very low. This will be increasingly problematic once bigger numbers return. car use is very high currently also.

Response posted on 11th June 2020 by:
Ralph hitchman


Space for safe distancing outside schools

Hi Jane, we are providing advice which generally includes hard measures. Interventions might include School Streets", modal filters, low traffic neighbourhoods, and closing local streets to through-traffic. These is especially relevant outside schools in urban areas where the majority of pupils would be able to walk and cycle if there could be safe means to do it.

Physical interventions such as modal filters will unlock space for walking and cycling. It depends on the context of course, but this is intended to provide social distanced space, reduce road danger and align with other local issues such as improving air quality in and nearby schools. We have prioritised schools and interventions depending on a range of local factors.

These sort of interventions align with what the DfT have asked local transport authorities to do, as part of their emergency active travel fund.

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods are also being rolled out in the medium term and I can provide more information if you want it. Best wishes, Ralph

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