Purpose: To improve road safety and tackle air pollution outside schools and encourage children and teenagers to adopt walking and cycling as part of their daily lives.
Description: The council decided to create guidelines to improve transport provision around new schools. Essex County Council, Essex Highways, and Jacobs (transport consultants) led a consultation to create a set of principles for new schools to have active travel access. The design guide includes transport zones formed of concentric circles around the school that have a hierarchy of modes:
Zone 1: School entrance - the school entrances are permanently traffic-free as this improves the sense of place. There is best practice guidance for separate disabled, emergency vehicle, staff, and maintenance access.
Zone 2: Radial walking and cycling walking routes
Zone 3: Car-free zone (at pick up and drop off times)
Zone 4: Bus stop -the bus stops are not too close to the school so they disrupt the peace and lower air pollution at the gates, but within ten minutes walk.
Zone 5: Drop off and pick up area
The plan fits into the county’s wider bus improvement plan. This initial step looks at sustainable travel to newly built schools and the council is working on principles to improve access at existing schools.
Conservative councillor/ council lead: Cllr Lee Scott, cabinet member for highways maintenance and sustainable transport