Help Forum

Help requested posted on 22nd June 2020:

Safer Schools Motion

Researching a recent elected members motion around safety outside our schools. I have specifically been asked to incorporate the elements of:
. 20mph limits
. Parking
. Vehicle idling

As part of the process I am looking at the concerns using Behavioural Change Techniques as part of the COM-B analysis I need to understand what has been done so far across the country - successful AND not successful and how these initiatives have been measured against the aims of the project to come to that conclusion. We already have school flashing signs, 20mph advisory signs and have the responsibility for parking enforcement. Obviously with the push to encourage more Active Travel sharing our work is going to be invaluable to ensure budgets are not unnecessarily wasted. Many thanks, keep safe Cheryl.

Cheryl Evans

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Response posted on 23rd June 2020 by:
John Holiday

T: 07974249181

Safer Schools Motion

There are already lots of restrictions, but they are ignored because no one enforces them.
A few tickets on the culprits & word would soon get round.
LAs & Police argue over whose responsibility this is& in mean time rules are ignored by majority.

Response posted on 24th June 2020 by:
Cheryl Evans


Safer Schools Motion

Thanks John, do you have any evidence or evaluation around enforcement?
Many thanks

Response posted on 24th June 2020 by:
Lembit Opik


Safer Schools Motion

Hi there,

just a warning about 20mph speed limits. These don't always reduce KSIs. Factors include frustration, inattentiveness and closer driving to the vehicle ahead. Be aware the apparent assumption that reducing speed limits will necessarily do good is not 100% secure. Also, factor in the net effect of increased cycling, which shifts journeys from a more safe (car) mode to a less safe (cycle) mode. It's just necessary to take a holistic view. I imagine that modal shift will have a bigger effect on KSIs than speed limits. Get in touch if you'd like to discuss further. We've studied these matters a lot. Lembit (Motorcycle Action Group)

Response posted on 25th June 2020 by:
Jane Deeley


Safer Schools Motion

Hi Cheryl,
Some years ago we set up '5 minute Walk Zones' in Swindon to reduce parking and traffic around the school gate. The initial project was funded by Change4Life, so we did before and after parking and 'mode of travel' surveys. The projects were popular with schools and were developed and championed by pupil ambassadors. Relatively low cost, and adaptable - picked up by other authorities, including Bristol and Brighton. Not sure if I still have a copy of the initial project report, but will have a look.

Response posted on 1st July 2020 by:
Andrew Fraser


Safer Schools Motion

Hello, Cheryl.

I wish you the best of luck! Safety around schools has been a concern for decades, which is strange, because safety is generally better around schools than elsewhere. I think most of us know that. In my own case, 6 school pupils (going to or from school) were killed over a period of around 25 years, none outside schools, in one particular council area of the three within my remit, and all involving a large vehicle. That puts a different slant on the matter, but I don't know whether it was reflected over the whole country. With such small numbers, a much wider analysis would be required.
Nonetheless, £millions have been spent creating unusual situations around schools and the danger that pupils will not be able to cope elsewhere, and parents will become complacent.
Driving standards around schools however, are pretty poor. (I live opposite a primary school, so I see what people are complaining about.) You'd think the parents wanted their children hurt!
Parking behaviour is atrocious - you'd think the Highway Code didn't exist. Restrictions are ignored, children are allowed to leave vehicles on the wrong side of the road, often from vehicles parked against flow, anyway, and engine idling seems to be the norm. Mention it, and you get dog's abuse.
And yet, there is the odd parent who appreciates the inconvenience caused by their parking, and does her or his best to keep out of the way of residents. Maybe their behaviour needs to be encouraged.
Quite why so many need to be transported by car (often late) is beyond me, as is the need to arrive half an hour before the bell (unless it's to grab a space).
So, I don't think you'll get much help, as I don't think there has been much in the way of serious data collection (even STATS19 is a mess, since the pupil code was changed) but if your BCT approach yields anything, I'm sure we'd all like to hear of it.

Kind regards,

PS Lembit Opik's contribution is salient. :-)
PPS 20 miles/h limits are not taken seriously, don't work and never will until this govt wakes up and imposes ISA.

Response posted on 24th July 2020 by:
Rod King

T: 07973639781

Safer Schools Motion

20mph limits just outside schools are not supported by 20's Plenty and the evidence is that they encourage driving children to school rather than children walking or cycling. Thereby increasing the danger to children along their whole route to school. IN addition 80% of child casualties are not when they are travelling to or from school.

See our briefing at

If you really want to make a difference then you need to address speeds across the whole community road network. That's why so many authorities have implemented 20mph as a default. And there is plenty of evidence that it reduces casualties by between 10 and 25%. See the results in Bristol, Calderdale, Liverpool, Edinburgh, etc.

Take no notice of people quoting the BANES report on KSIs on ridiculously small sample sizes. A change in KSI from 0.8 pa to 1.0 pa is meaningless from a statistical perspective. And the Atkins report was seriously flawed. It only included one whole town survey in Brighton. The rest were isolated and small schemes, some with very little engagement from the local authority.

I would say you need a holistic approach. Set 20mph as a default for where pedestrians/cyclists and motor vehicles mix, win hearts and minds, enforce the changes, build in filtered permeability, start place-making so that streets look like community streets, ban parking outside schools by road closures.

Most of all recognise that many of our mobility systems are broken and need a reboot around community values of healthy active travel and vision zero. That needs a political will. Start to develop that and you can get a real improvement for children.

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