School Streets were introduced to Portsmouth during 2021. They open up roads to walking and cycling by temporarily limiting most motorised traffic around schools. This creates safer routes to school and allows the local community to enjoy a safer place to live, study, work and travel.

School Streets limit the amount of non-essential traffic from entering the roads near schools during drop-off and pick-up. Parents, children, school staff and visitors are encouraged to walk or cycle to school, resulting in a safer, healthier environment which develops cleaner air and reduces traffic congestion and noise in residential areas. Research has shown that pupils who walk and cycle to school are more alert and ready to start the day than those who travel by car.

During a School Street, access is available for residents and business premises on the street, emergency services, school transport, blue badge holders, taxis and carers of residents who live in the street. People with specific requirements can pre-agree access with the head teacher.

We’re working with walking and cycling charity, Sustrans, to manage the scheme. Online and in-person information sessions are held at participating schools ahead of the launch to give residents, parents and pupils a chance to find out more. People can share their experience through a survey which can be found on each school’s website during the trial.

Anyone interested in a School Street in their area should contact their local school. Head teachers of Portsmouth schools can work with the council to develop a School Street.

Find out more about the School Streets by reading our FAQs or contact us schoolstreets@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

To read the findings from the previous consultations with parents, carers, school staff and residents visit your city your say

What is a School Street?

During a School Street the road is opened up to people walking, cycling and scooting by restricting access to non-essential motor vehicles.  The School Street takes place at the beginning and the end of the school day and helps children, parents, carers and school staff to enjoy safer, healthier routes to school. Residents who live in the area will also benefit from safer, quieter roads and cleaner air.

The School Street is managed by trained stewards using moveable barriers. The stewards can be easily identified by branded, high-vis vests. The restrictions are managed through an Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) and will last for up to an hour at the beginning and end of the school day. In practice, many schools find they do not need to use the full hour they have been allocated and the restrictions are normally in place for approximately 40 minutes.

What is the purpose of a School Street?

  • To create a safer and more pleasant environment for families arriving at school, while also tackling congestion and reducing risk from motorised vehicles
  • To create safer, quieter roads for residents
  • To encourage children, parents, carers and school staff to walk, cycle and scoot to and from school.
  • To promote healthier and more active lifestyles, teaching children positive travel habits from a young age
  • To improve air quality in the immediate area outside of the school
  • To encourage a long-lasting mode shift away from the car

When are the School Street restrictions in force?

Access will be restricted to all but essential or pre-arranged vehicles between set times around drop-off and pick-up on weekdays during school term time. A School Street does not operate during school holidays, inset days or at weekends.

What if I'm already parked inside the School Street zone when it comes into operation?

Vehicles already parked in the street before the School Street restrictions start will be able to leave when they need to. Stewards will let residents out of the School Street zone, but we ask drivers to travel at a walking pace to ensure children’s safety.

To help make this a success, it would be really helpful if you could consider booking deliveries or moving your vehicle outside of the School Street hours to reduce vehicle movement as much as possible.

Who is exempt from School Streets restrictions?

During a School Street, access is always available for residents and business premises on the street, emergency services, school transport, blue badge holders, taxis, Home to School Transport vehicles, carers of residents who live in the street and people with specific requirements that have been pre-agreed with the head teacher.

Participating schools will operate a trial School Street to begin with and exemptions will be reviewed during the trial.

I’m a blue badge holder, would I still be able to access the School Street zone?

Yes. Blue badge holders would be able to enter the School Street zone but we ask drivers to travel at a walking pace to ensure children’s safety.

I'm a parent or carer, could I drive into the School Street zone?

No. Parents or carers dropping children at school are not able to drive into a School Street zone unless they can show that they are exempt. You will still be able to walk, cycle or scoot to school in a more friendly and safer environment.

You will be able to pick up a map from the school which shows where you can park while the School Street is operating.

What if I have a delivery that I can't change?

We encourage all residents, businesses and even the participating schools to ensure they don’t arrange deliveries during the closure times. If, however, you simply cannot rearrange a delivery time, the driver will be guided through the School Street at walking pace behind a steward. This is the same for all vehicles.

If possible, we would encourage you to alter any pre-existing weekly shopping deliveries to fall either side of the closure times.

How long do School Streets last?

School Streets are implemented on a trial basis, using Experimental or Temporary Traffic Orders. The trial period will be for seven weeks. If the trial is successful, based on the results of monitoring and feedback from the school community and local residents, the closure could be made permanent.

What if there is a gas or water leak?

Under a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO), utility companies will have access to the street/s for any emergency work that’s needed.

Which schools have taken part in School Streets?

The following schools have previously taken part part in School Streets:

  • St Jude’s Church of England Primary School
  • Bramble Infant and Nursery School
  • St John’s Cathedral Catholic Primary School
  • Meon Infant School and Meon Junior School
  • Kings Academy College Park

We are working with St Jude’s CoE and Bramble Infant and Nursery School Streets to make  their School Streets permanent. Find out more on the schools’ websites.

Bramble 

Who do I contact if I want to find out more about a School Street in my area?

If you are interested in finding out more about School Streets or would like to enquire about a School Street for your school please email schoolstreets@portsmouthcc.gov.uk. Please allow five working days for a response.