Trial schemes have been successfully launched at two East Riding schools which are already helping to reduce traffic congestion, improve the environment outside the schools, and encourage more active travel. 

The initiatives began in February at Acre Heads Primary School in Anlaby and at Burton Pidsea Primary School in Burton Pidsea, near Hedon. 

Called School Streets, the trials have been introduced by East Riding of Yorkshire Council's sustainable transport team in partnership with the schools and Humberside Police. 

School Streets is a pioneering approach to improving the environment outside schools whereby traffic is restricted for short periods at the start and the end of the school day - preventing the build-up of vehicles and improving road safety concerns for pupils. 

The roads directly outside or leading to each of the schools are covered by Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders, which are enforced during drop-off and pick-up times in the mornings and afternoons. 

With the trial schemes now being in place for a number of weeks, from Monday 8 April, Humberside Police will be looking to start enforcement action, where vehicles travelling within the restricted areas that are not permitted or exempt could be issued with a warning or a fixed penalty. 

Graham Sitch, headteacher at Acre Heads Primary School, said: "We have now had the School Streets restriction operational for several weeks and there has been a significant reduction in traffic on roads leading directly to the school. 

"It has been an amazing transformation for children arriving and departing school in a safe and calm environment.  

"We have seen a substantial increase in children walking, biking and scooting to school and our Key Stage 2 children are looking forward to using their new bike shed. 

"It has been a pleasure speaking with residents and parents during the monitoring of the scheme and the positive impact they feel it is having. 

"We would like to thank the local community, our parents, the local policing team and East Riding of Yorkshire Council for implementing the scheme and the positive impact it has had on collection and drop times." 

Angela Wright, headteacher at Burton Pidsea Primary School, said: "The School Streets initiative has been running for several weeks here and the impact has already been positive.  

"Feedback from families and the local community has highlighted how the area around the school gates is quieter, calmer and a much safer place for everyone. 

"We have worked closely with our local PCSO and he has discussed the road closures with residents and passers-by which has resulted in greater understanding and awareness.  

"There has been a significant rise in the number of children scooting and biking to school, the newly installed shelter is used daily. 

"The school greatly appreciates the support of the local community, pupils and all their parents, in creating a safe zone around the school." 

The scheme has already been tried at seven other primary schools in the East Riding since 2020. Four have been successfully adopted, some are still being trialled. 

Councillor Paul West, the council's cabinet member for environment and transport, said: "I'm absolutely delighted that these Schools Streets schemes are working so well and doing what they are designed to do - making the school gates a much more pleasant and safe area for the schools and communities. 

"Thanks to pupils, staff, families and the police for making them such a success." 

A spokesperson for Humberside Police said: "We're very pleased there has already been a very positive impact on these communities. 

"Having roads outside schools restricted to vehicles for two short periods of time at the start and end of the school day has the potential to make a big difference to safety and the health and wellbeing of people, encouraging more sustainable and active ways of getting around. 

"Ultimately there are benefits for everyone, from drivers to school users and residents." 

As part of the School Streets scheme, parents, carers and families are being encouraged to either park well away from the school sites, if having to travel by car, or to walk, cycle or scoot the journey to reduce parking pressures, discourage unnecessary car journeys, and improve the environment outside the school gates. 

School Streets is aimed at encouraging a move towards using more sustainable and active modes of travel, making it easier and safer for families and pupils to walk, cycle or scoot to school, as well as creating a more pleasant area outside the entrance. 

Residents and businesses within the restricted areas have the opportunity to apply for an exemption permit, which will allow access to the School Streets zone during the restricted times, if required. 

There is also a list of exempted vehicles which may enter the zone during the restriction.