ROADS surrounding schools in Moray could be temporarily closed to ensure children can get to school safely and tackle air pollution.
A pilot project has been approved, which will see two schools in Moray – yet to be selected – test the ‘School Street’ initiative. It would see roads being closed during set times on each school day, when pupils are being dropped off or picked up. Residents who live on the closed roads are allowed to use their vehicles, and access for doctors and utility companies is also allowed.
Introducing a School Street is expected to drastically reduce the number of vehicle movements near a school, tackle air pollution, reduce road safety risks and encourage active travel.
The approval for a pilot comes after a successful one-day closure of streets surrounding New Elgin Primary for a Living Streets event on Friday 6 September, which saw 92 per cent of pupils choosing active travel options to get to school – walking, cycling or scooting. The following Friday, just 56 per cent of pupils travelled actively. Over 80 per cent of online respondents to a survey after the event said the closure made a positive difference to the area around the school, and 77 per cent said they’d be supportive of further part-time closures.
It’s anticipated that the pilot could cost around £40,000, which would be paid for through existing grant funding from Cycling, Walking and Safer Streets.
Famous for its colony of dolphins, fabulous beaches and more malt whisky distilleries than any where else in Scotland, Moray is a thriving area and a great place to live. Nestling between Aberdeenshire and the Highlands, Moray stretches from Tomintoul in the south to the shores of the Moray Firth, from Keith in the east to Brodie Castle in the west.