Our School Streets scheme is helping to create a cleaner, greener and healthier borough.
A School Street is where a road with a school temporarily closes to become a pedestrian and cycle zone during the school’s opening and closing times. By temporarily closing roads outside schools this will help to reduce congestion and pollution at the school gates as well as make it easier and safer for children to get to and from school. The council is implementing a number of School Street schemes under an Experimental Traffic Order (ETO) and monitoring the benefits over an 18 month period.
To build on the success of the School Streets programme, the council have started to deliver improvements to primary schools on main roads. As these schools are based on main traffic routes, we are not able to introduce timed traffic restrictions. To improve the areas outside the school, we are introducing improvement measures to the environment outside the school gate such as widened footpaths, seating, planting and cycle parking. These measures help to reduce road danger, reduce air pollution and promote active travel amongst the school community.
On this page you can find answers to our frequently asked questions on the School Streets scheme. If you can't find the answer to your question, you can also email SchoolStreets@islington.gov.uk, and our team will be happy to answer any questions you have.
Why did we introduce School Streets?
In 2019, the council committed to improve all residential areas in Islington to create a healthy, more equal, accessible and enjoyable environment, and to enable local people to walk and cycle safely. We set this out in our Islington Transport Strategy; our Air Quality Strategy; and our Net Zero Carbon Strategy, Vision 2030.
School Streets programme delivery was accelerated as part of the council’s Covid-19 emergency response in 2020. Private car use across London has increased as lockdown eases which is causing congestion, increased road danger, poorer air quality and other negative impacts on health. That’s why we acted quickly to create more space for local people to walk, cycle, use buggies and wheelchairs as safe alternatives to using public transport.
How do School Streets work?
The streets around the school temporarily become a pedestrian and cycle only zone at set times in the morning and afternoon, during term time only. Residents who live within the restriction will be exempt from the scheme. Vehicles are not allowed to enter the zone unless they have been granted an exemption.
Non-registered vehicles entering the street during the times of operation will be identified by a fixed ANPR camera and issued a fixed penalty notice (FPN). Advanced warning signs are installed leading up to the School Street, in addition to camera enforcement warning signs that notify non-exempt drivers that the School Street zone is enforced.
What schools are part of the School Streets scheme?
What times are School Streets restrictions in force?
The schemes operate for set periods during the morning and afternoon pick-up and drop-off times, during the school term. They will not operate during school holidays or weekends. The length of each restriction is usually between 45-60 minutes, often longer in the afternoon when schools may have staggered finish times. Vehicles are not allowed to enter the scheme between these times unless they have been granted an exemption. You can find individual School Streets times on the School Streets page, located in the drop down menu for that school.
How do I know it is a School Street?
Advance signs inform drivers of the restrictions on both sides of the road at the entrance to the street. Temporary warning signs are installed in advance of the restrictions going live to notify drivers when enforcement will start and will be removed once the scheme is live. When the scheme is not in operation, the signs are closed and not visible to the public, for example school holidays. Below is an example of one of the School Street signs which can be found at the start of the School Street zones.
Will there be exemptions?
If you are a resident or business within a School Street zone who has an on-street Islington parking permit for your vehicle prior to the zone going live, your vehicle’s registration will automatically be added to our list of exempted vehicles. This means you do not need to apply for an exemption. Please note this is an electronic permit so you will not receive anything in the post.
If you live on a housing estate and the only access to your property is via a School Street zone, then you may apply for an exemption.
If you obtain a permit after the School Street goes live, you change your vehicle, do not have an Islington parking permit, or you have recently moved into the School Street zone and your new address is one of the exempted addresses, it is your responsibility to apply for an exemption. You can apply for an exemption or if you have any queries you can contact us at email@example.com.
Blue Badge holders can contact us to apply to be put on the exemption list if they need to use one of the School Street roads for access purposes only. Blue Badge holders are not permitted to use the road as a through route.
Only exempted vehicles are permitted to enter the zone during the times of operation. Vehicles that are not permitted to enter the zone include, but is not limited to, trades vehicles, delivery vehicles, contractors, school staff, visitors, parents and carers. Local residents are exempt, and Blue Badge holders can apply for exemptions (see above). All deliveries must be made outside of the School Street operational hours.
I am a resident of a School Street, can I drive in and out of my street during operating times?
Residents with an Islington parking permit, prior to the zone going live, living within the School Street zone, will be automatically added to the exemption list. This will allow you to pass through the restrictions when they are closed to general traffic. It is your responsibility to tell the School Streets Team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you change your vehicle and therefore need to update your Vehicle Registration Number (VRN).
If you need to drive during the times of operation, please be aware there will be many children using the pavement and in the road so you should exercise extra caution and consider driving at slower speeds. You may prefer to plan your journey so you are driving before or after the operational times.
I am a Blue Badge holder, can I apply for an exemption?
Yes, but only if you need access to the street. You must apply for an exemption so the council can assess your application before making a decision as to whether you are eligible. If you are granted an exemption, you must only use the road for access purposes and not as a through-route during the hours of operation. To apply, please contact the School Streets team at SchoolStreets@islington.gov.uk.
I am a parent or carer of a child, can I apply for an exemption?
Parents and carers dropping off their children will not be eligible for an exemption. You can only be granted an exemption if you or your child are a Blue Badge holder and you require access to the school that they attend, or if you live within the School Street zone.
Can I drive if I am already parked in a School Street when the restriction comes into force?
How long will each scheme be in place and how is it monitored?
The council is implementing a number of School Street schemes as a trial under an Experimental Traffic Order and monitoring the benefits over an 18-month period. At the end of the 18 month period, which will include a public consultation 12 months into the scheme and consistent monitoring throughout, a decision is made whether to make the scheme permanent, or modify it or remove the School Street altogether. Currently, 31 School Streets, out of 35, are permanent. You can find more information on the Islington School Streets page.
Monitoring is carried out consistently throughout the 18 month trial period and consists of traffic volumes, cycle volumes and air quality. The safety and environmental impact of the scheme will also be monitored. The data is analysed and published on the Islington School Streets page.
How can I have my say?
To ensure that you can have your say on how the measures are working, we have chosen to implement the schemes on a trial basis, under an Experimental Traffic Order. This means that during the first six months you can give us your views on how the measures are working and we can make any necessary changes so that the School Street works as well as possible. For more information, including on how you can object to or comment on the measures, please see the FAQ question on this page on how Experimental Traffic Orders work.
Based on feedback and monitoring data, the council makes a decision whether the measures should be changed, made permanent or removed at the end of the 18 month trial period.
Public consultation is held 12 months into the trial. The council held two public consultations in October 2021 and March 2022 to share your views on 17 School Streets trials. You can find more information about the outcomes of the consultations on the School Streets page.
What is an Experimental Traffic Order (ETO)?
An Experimental Traffic Order (ETO) is like a permanent Traffic Regulation Order in that it is a legal document that imposes traffic and parking restrictions. However, unlike a Traffic Regulation Order an ETO can only stay in force for a maximum of 18 months while the effects are monitored and assessed.
An ETO is made under Sections 9 and 10 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.
Once an ETO comes into force there is a six- month period in which objections can be made. If the ETO is subsequently modified, objections can be made in the six months following from the date of the changes.
Any formal objection to a specific ETO must be in writing and must state the grounds on which it is made. Objections should be sent to:
Post: Public Realm, 1 Cottage Road, London, N7 8TP.
Please note that that any formal objection that is submitted may become a public document and could be published.
In addition to the objection period described above, there is a second opportunity to have your say during the full public consultation which takes place after 12 months to find out what you think of the measures. Based on feedback and monitoring data, we will decide whether the measures will be changed, made permanent or removed at the end of the 18 month trial period.