Car Free Zones introduced around six Glasgow primary schools. Image courtesy of Glasgow City Council.

Glasgow trials car-free zones outside primary schools

Glasgow has launched a pilot scheme to ban cars outside several primary schools as it looks to keep children as safe as possible.

Six primary schools in Scotland’s most populated city are involved in the project which follows concerns over poor driving outside schools, obstructive parking which forces children onto the road and health issues over emissions.

Anyone driving within what will be temporary pedestrian zones during school drop-off and pick-up times in the morning and afternoon risks being fined £50. The pilot is due to run for 18 months and has been devised in consultation with schools, communities and other child welfare stakeholders.

Serious congestion

Schools were chosen based on their history of complaints and concerns from parent organisations, local councillors and other council representatives. Organisers also say however that these schools experience particularly high levels of car use for the school journey, resulting in serious congestion around the school entrance.

Councillor Chris Cunningham, City Convenor for Education, Skills and Early Years, said: “There is a public demand from parents and residents to make sure children are as safe as possible when heading to and from school. A number of initiatives have already tried to clamp down on poor driver behaviour, but problems that put children at risk still persist.

‘Create safe spaces’

“In the circumstances we have to go one step further to protect our children. Car free zones outside schools can create safe spaces for young people at key points of the school day. The zones are being introduced on a trial basis and we will be looking very carefully at the evidence to see how effective they prove to be.”

Glasgow City Council says the city has the highest rate of pupils being driven to school compared to the other cities in Scotland. This amount of traffic heading to the school clearly impacts on the wider environment and creates road safety risks at the school gate. School car free zones will keep streets around schools clear of cars at the busiest times of the school day. We hope school car free zones will give parents greater confidence that their children can walk or cycle to school safely every day.”

Author: Simon Weedy

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