Leicester hope for big safety gains with small improvements to implement school streets

The measures – all of which are experimental, according to the council – will include closing off streets to through traffic during school drop-off and pick-up times. 

Some roads will be closed at strategic points to prevent through traffic, whilst keeping full access to all properties at all times. Other roads will be made one-way, or will have experimental chicanes and planters installed to reduce traffic speeds and make junction crossings safer.

It follows extensive engagement with local residents and schools on ways to reduce congestion, tackle problem parking and limit traffic speeds in the area.

From Monday 28 February, two of the main streets leading to schools will both operate as ‘school streets’. The roads are close to Overdale infant and junior schools, and are heavily affected by school traffic.

Both roads will be closed to through traffic from Monday to Friday in term times between 8am and 9am and again from 2.30pm to 4pm. The roads will initially be closed with barriers operated by marshals.

In addition, Ashclose Avenue close to the schools will be made one-way, southbound from its junction with Meadvale Road, to improve traffic flow and parking issues.

Also from Monday 28 February, Knighton Drive will be closed experimentally at all times at its junction with Knighton Road, near to St Thomas More school. The aim is to make it safer for schoolchildren to cross Knighton Drive, as well as preventing speeding and rat-running along Knighton Drive.  The road will be closed off with planters, and a turning circle created for vehicles.

Craighill Road will also be closed experimentally, with planters placed across the road, just south of the junction with Northcote Road and Houlditch Road. This will help to address traffic conflicts at the junction and speeding vehicles in the area. To further improve the safety of the junction, experimental priority ‘give ways’ will come into operation on Northcote Road, with barriers creating chicanes to slow down traffic.

All of the measures are being introduced experimentally to address concerns raised by local people.

Deputy city mayor for environment and transport Cllr Adam Clarke said: “We’re trying out these measures after listening to local residents, in response to the traffic problems they have told us about. Local ward councillors have been instrumental in engaging with residents and inputting ideas, and will continue to be closely involved with this scheme.

“All of these measures are experimental, so they can be changed or removed over time. We want to see how it goes and whether these changes make a positive difference.

“Making our neighbourhoods safer and healthier is a priority for us as we tackle the climate emergency. People should not have to put up with cars speeding through residential streets, or having their roads blocked by thoughtless school-run parking. Parents have told us that they would be more inclined to let their children walk or cycle to school if there was less traffic.

“By working together with local people and ward councillors, we are introducing changes that will make residential streets in Knighton safer, reduce congestion and help to improve air quality, benefitting both our personal health and wellbeing, and that of our city.”

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