'Safer environment' for pupils in Harrogate as first-ever ‘School Street pilot’ is launched in ground-breaking move
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After months of campaigning, parents have welcomed the ground-breaking initiative at Beechwood Grove in Harrogate near Oatlands Junior School which has been introduced by North Yorkshire Council after the local authority received an overall positive response to an informal public consultation in May and June.
Hazel Peacock and Dr Vicki Evans of Oatlands Road Safety & Active Travel Campaign said: “We are delighted the School Street pilot at Beechwood Grove started today to create a safer, healthier space around Oatlands Junior School for pupils, parents and carers and local residents, every school day.
"The initiative also compliments the Living Streets - WoW Travel Tracker scheme used by Oatlands Junior School and Infant School and we look forward to the positive changes to safer, healthier travel and well-being which they can bring to the daily journey to and from school.”
The first-ever School Street pilot in North Yorkshire is the result of a joint community collaboration between campaigners, residents, Oatlands Junior School, local councillors John Mann and Pat Marsh and North Yorkshire Council.
Hazel Peacock said: "We are grateful to Marks & Spencer Food Hall at Oatlands as one of the Park & Stride locations, as well as that at Hornbeam Park Train Station - providing car parking spaces away from the school gates and school street for people who need to drive.”
The School Streets pilot project is expected to prevent school traffic from using Beechwood Grove to access Oatlands Junior School between 8.30am and 9am, and from 3pm to 3.45pm, on weekdays during term time.
The campaign gathered pace after a recent spate of road accidents near some schools in Harrogate in which students have been injured.
The experimental traffic regulation order will run at Beechwood Grove for a period of up to 18 months, says North Yorkshire Council.
Earlier this year, North Yorkshire Council rejected calls for a general 20mph pilot scheme across Harrogate, instead approving plans to develop a county-wide speed management strategy before the end of the year.