NORTH Somerset Council will be introducing improvements outside of several schools to help make school drop-off and pick-up safer for pupils and parents.

The improvements, which are funded by the Department for Transport's Active Travel Fund, will be introduced at Milton Park Primary and Windwhistle Primary in Weston, Crockerne Primary in Pill, West Leigh Infants School in Backwell, Gordano School (Greenfield Park entrance) and St Peter’s C of E Primary in Portishead.

It is hoped that the changes will create school streets. Improvements will include the introduction of temporary restrictions on motorised traffic at school drop-off and pick-up times. The restrictions will apply to school traffic and through traffic.

Access will be maintained for residents and those who have requirements which mean they need to get as close as possible to the school.

Cllr Hannah Young, North Somerset Council's executive member with responsibility for active travel, said: “School street schemes are an excellent way to improve the safety of roads outside schools and help calm a hectic environment at drop off and pick up times.

"Although access for residents is maintained, we would encourage people to re-time their journeys to make the school street as quiet as possible.

“School streets can reduce the number of people driving their children to school by up to a third and reduce the risk of casualties by limiting the chance of accidents.

“School street schemes also offer a way for school communities to tackle air pollution, poor health and danger on the road. A school street helps encourage a healthier lifestyle, active travel to school for families and leads to a better environment for everyone.”

During the pandemic in 2020, the Department for Transport mandated all local authorities to install measures which would enable people to distance safely. These measures, which were meant to be temporary, are now being replaced with permanent schemes.

North Somerset Council is working with schools across the area to complete Travel Plans with the hope of securing further funding for future school streets where schools and communities are in favour.

Work has started at Weston's Milton Park School and is being delivered alongside a new zebra crossing on Milton Road to provide a safe place to cross for children accessing the school street.

Crockerne's school street was also created in October. The remainder of the other schemes will be delivered this year.