More ‘school streets’ road closures are being planned in Haringey after the council declared its existing schemes to be a success.

The Civic Centre is to ramp up its delivery of school streets and other measures designed to tackle air pollution, with the aim of protecting every school in the borough from the harmful effects of motor traffic.

School streets are designed to make it easier for children to walk and cycle to school by closing neighbouring roads to through-traffic at opening and closing times.

The traffic restrictions are usually enforced using CCTV cameras, with penalty charge notices (PCNs) issued to those caught breaking the rules.

Exemptions are available for residents and businesses within the restricted areas.

Council chiefs have declared their current programme of school streets a success, with 23 schemes so far covering 28 schools.

According to a report presented to a meeting of the council’s cabinet last Tuesday (June 13), trial schemes have cut traffic volumes by 42% and nitrogen oxide levels by 26%.

Walking and cycling to school increased by 3.7% during the trials, and trips to school by car fell by 4%.

The report adds that by the end of the trials, the number of PCNs being issued had fallen by 55% to fewer than six per camera each day.

Schemes covering a further 21 schools are currently underway and due for completion this year, with 38 more schools included in the delivery programme up to 2026.

Where it is not possible to introduce the measures because the schools are on main roads, the council is planning to roll out ‘healthy school zones’ to protect children.

Set to be introduced at 31 schools by 2028, the zones will work by implementing measures such as extra tree planting and ‘green screens’ or classroom air filtration systems to reduce pollution.

Speaking during the cabinet meeting, Cllr Mike Hakata, the council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for climate action, environment and transport, said Haringey had one of the fastest-growing school streets programmes after over-delivering on a previous plan approved in 2020.

He added: “This is an extension of that so it fulfils our manifesto promise, which is to have a school street outside pretty much every educational establishment, or to protect every educational establishment from the negative impacts of cars and motor vehicles such as air pollution and road danger.”

Until now, school staff members have not been formally included in the exemptions to the school streets programme, although some have been granted exemptions depending on circumstances.

A change in policy means that from September schools will be able to apply for up to 10% of their staff to receive formal exemptions.

The new school streets plan was unanimously approved by cabinet members.