Sustainable travel planning

School Streets

What is a school street?

School Streets are, in their simplest form, timed closures to motor traffic outside schools - usually during pick up and drop off times. The School Street scheme has been run successfully in a number of other areas in London and across the UK. The results from these schemes show a positive improvement to the neighbourhoods they are run in. Results have shown an increase in sustainable travel to and from school, reduction of poor parking and improvement in air quality.

Our first trial scheme on Mansfield Road in Chessington, which leads to Lovelace Primary School has now been made permanent.  It was approved by South of the Borough Neighbourhood Committee on 9 March 2021.

Further trial school streets are currently in place at:

  • St Paul’s Primary School on Alexandra Road running from 8:15-9:30am and 2:30-3:45pm
  • Alexandra Primary School on Princes Road, in North Kingston from 8:15-9:30am and 2:30-3:45pm
  • Castle Hill Primary School on Buckland Road in Chessington 8:00-9:30am and 2:00-3:45pm
  • Latchmere Road and Dinton Road running from 8.15-9.30am and 2.30-4.00pm

Please note that the schemes are running on Experimental Orders and timings of the scheme are an example of changes that can be made within the order to make schemes work better. You must always obey signage at the schemes to avoid penalty charges.

You can find out more and leave feedback on these schemes on our Let's Talk portal.

We will be looking to extend the scheme to other schools who have proven that they have tried to eliminate their issues through a school travel plan.

Please see our dropped kerb parking pages for information related to enforcement.

Please see our cycling pages for information related to cycling and cycle training.

Please read our Frequently Asked Questions below and if you still have any queries contact [email protected].

Common questions

What are school streets? 

School streets are timed controls on most motor traffic entering the roads outside of schools, usually during pick up and drop off times. Their aim is to encourage active travel to school, reduce parking problems and engine idling, reduce road danger and to improve air quality. 

How are schools chosen to become school streets?

Schools will need to show us that they have been working to fix their traffic and parking issues by producing a school travel plan. These detail the different actions the school has done which could include promoting walking to school or their students receiving Bikeability cycle training. 

How do school streets work? 

School Streets in Kingston are monitored by Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras mounted on posts that are positioned near the entrances to the restricted streets. They detect vehicles travelling into the restricted streets during the restricted times. The restrictions will only apply at school pick-up and drop-off times. 

What time are the restrictions enforceable? 

The timings are dependent on the school’s opening and closing times and on the location of the school street. 

Is there a penalty charge for entering the School Street? 

Yes. If a non-exempt vehicle enters the restricted zone during restricted times, it’s keeper will be required to pay a penalty charge of £65.00 rising to £130.00 if not paid within 14 days.

What if a vehicle is already parked within the school street pedestrian and cycle zone? 

Though we would discourage the movement of any vehicles within the school street zone within its controlled hours, any vehicles already within the zone would be free to leave at any time.

Which vehicles are permitted to be driven into the scheme?

This will vary from scheme to scheme, often depending on information obtained through the consultation and engagement process. To ensure that bus routes are not impacted during operating times, public service buses are usually exempt. Other likely exemptions are emergency service vehicles and contract school transport dropping off or picking up pupils from the school or their home address if they live within a School Street scheme.

The following are exempt:

  • Private vehicles owned by residents within the school street scheme (up to a maximum of three per property)
  • Private vehicles hired by residents within the school street scheme
  • Private vehicles leased by residents within the school streets scheme
  • Emergency service vehicles
  • *Statutory undertakers, including utility services.
  • Postal Service
  • Caregivers or health care workers who provide essential care to residents within the school streets scheme
  • Private hire vehicles/taxis/hackney carriages carrying residents who have a registered disability or who are unable to walk from the entrance to the restricted zone
  • Transport provided for pupils with special educational needs
  • School buses.

*Statutory undertakers include the following examples - 

  • Waste vehicles
  • Vehicles being used to carry out duties on behalf of the council
  • Vehicles being used for utility services works - electricity/water/gas/internet.

Please note these organisations will be advised of the purpose of the school street and that they are expected to reschedule visits when possible outside of the school street operational times.

Exemptions for some types of school-related traffic:

  • Parents picking up children with illnesses/injuries
  • Children with a blue badge
  • Parent with a blue badge dropping off and picking up children
  • School staff that require parking at the school. The school will be advised to work with staff to retime, remode or reroute staff car journeys where possible to avoid driving in the school street during its operational times.

Who is not exempt from the scheme restrictions?

The following are not exempt from the scheme restrictions

  • Friends and family wishing to visit residents within the school street scheme, unless they are providing essential daily care for a resident living in the school street or providing transport to an urgent medical appointment. This is reviewed on a case by case basis
  • Deliveries, unless they are for essential medical supplies or community meal deliveries
  • Private hire vehicles/taxis/hackney carriages that have not been registered for the purposes above.

I’m a blue badge holder, will I be able to enter the school street by car during the controlled times? 

Yes. To do this you will need to apply to the Council for an exemption for the vehicle you will be travelling in.

Before a school street starts operating, residents within the zone will be written to with a scheme-specific code to enter on our online registration system. If you do not receive this code before the scheme launches please email [email protected] or call our contact centre on 020 8547 4711.

To register, please go to the scheme-specific consultation page online. To register, you will need to provide proof of where you live and where your vehicle is registered.

I have an injury. Can I claim temporary exemption from the controls? 

Yes. Please email [email protected] or call our contact centre on 020 8547 4711.

I'm a parent or carer, can I enter the school street zone? 

Most parents or carers dropping children at school will not be able to drive into the school street zone. You can only drive in if you or your child is a blue badge holder. You will still be able to walk, cycle or scoot to school in a more friendly and safe environment.

I have a health or social care need/disability and use services that will need to enter the school street.  How will this work for me?

The school street scheme should not affect how you receive your care and therefore the help provided to you is exempt from the scheme. There are a number of ways to register. 
If you have health care provided to you, please ask the provider to email [email protected] and register their vehicles that are used to provide care by providing the following information:

  • Patient’s name
  • Address incl postcode of resident/patient
  • Care provider’ name
  • Registration number off care provider’s vehicle 

If you are a resident who may require help from family or friends and need to register their vehicles, this will be treated on a case by case basis and could include the following examples:

  • Picking up for hospital/doctor appointments
  • Urgent help that requires access to the street quickly

To apply for this exemption, residents will need to email [email protected] or call 020 8547 5002 and receive a call back from a member of the Sustainable Transport team.
Residents will need to provide the following information - reason for exemption, registration number of vehicle.

If you are a resident who is unable to walk or has limited mobility and you do not have a blue badge (e.g. broken leg/foot etc), you can arrange to be added temporarily to the exemption list on a case by case basis.

  • Residents will need to arrange the exemption by emailing [email protected] or call 020 8547 5002 and receive a call back from a member of the sustainable transport team
  • Residents will need to provide the following information - reason for exemption, registration number of taxi.

What happens if I need to receive a motorised delivery?

We undertake to write to delivery companies and raise awareness of restrictions in place. In addition we ensure there is clear signage. When booking your delivery, please inform the delivery company of the restrictions in place.

How long will the scheme last? 

Our School Streets are underpinned by an Experimental Traffic Management Order (ETMO) which runs for a minimum 6 months and lasts a maximum of 18 months. There is a consultation and engagement period which sits alongside the ETMO. Data will be collected, including evaluating your feedback and a decision will then be made by the relevant Neighbourhood Committee on whether to make the scheme permanent, remove or modify it.

Why was my neighbour informed before the scheme started? 

As detailed above, the experimental traffic management order runs for a maximum of 18 months alongside a period of public consultation on the scheme. We will make sure that residents who will be immediately affected are made aware of the scheme before implementation. 

Won’t the scheme push parking issues elsewhere?

Part of the aim of the school street is to encourage more people to travel sustainably. Where possible we will work to try and find alternative locations for parents to park and stride from without causing problems for residents of nearby streets. We will be assessing the local roads during the trial to see whether there is displacement of problem parking. If this occurs, we will look to address these issues too.

Were other options explored to improve the traffic problem and safety outside the school before the introduction of the school street? 

Schools chosen to become school streets have already tried other means of improving the road environment around the school gates. One of the selection criteria is that schools have to have in place an active school travel plan or to have achieved a Modeshift STARS accreditation. 

The schools will have used publicity, training and promotion to improve the situation. Other traffic management options, like one-way systems or extensive parking restrictions, may have been considered. To introduce such controls and/or physical barriers on a permanent 24/7 basis may be rather more restrictive for residents living in the affected streets. It would also not discourage or penalise parking on school zig zag markings. 

The school streets project provides an opportunity to trial a new way of addressing concerns raised around school parking and congestion, whilst encouraging and enabling alternative and sustainable forms of travel to school.

What will happen with deliveries to the school or to my property?

 Deliveries will need to happen outside of the zone’s controlled times, meaning deliveries should typically avoid 8:15-9:15am and 2:30-3:30pm. Please check individual school street pages for the timings of controls). 

What happens if I have a courtesy car or have to use another car

The onus will be on you to keep the council updated with the details of any vehicle that you need to use during the controlled hours. Please call 0330 1358952 where our Parking Contractor supervisor from NSL will update the system. Any changes to a vehicle reg or notifying us of a visitor must be submitted within 48hours of entering the school zone. Failure to do this within the time frame could result in a PCN being issued.

How are the controlled times determined? 

The timings will have been determined through working with the school and through numerous surveys to determine the peak times when vehicles arrive and leave. Whilst the scheme is in operation, we will continue to monitor to determine whether the timings remain appropriate.

Who will enforce the controls?

A vehicle entering the zone without exemption or parking on school keep clear marking during controlled times may receive a penalty charge notice (PCN) via an automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) camera. Parking contraventions are enforced by civil enforcement officers.

My property is not within the school street, but there is someone parking across my driveway. What can be done about this?

The council and its parking enforcement provider NSL are now offering a service for residents and businesses who find their driveway is obstructed by a vehicle. To report an offence, you can call the council's parking enforcement on 0330 135 8952, between:

7am to 10pm (Monday to Saturday)
10:30am to 10pm (Sundays and bank holidays)

When calling, you will be required to provide the following:

  • Your Name/Company name
  • Your Address
  • Your Telephone number
  • Details of the vehicle obstructing your driveway

This is so we can verify that it is the owner of the house that is requesting enforcement action. 

Once this information has been received, we will arrange for a Civil Enforcement Officer to visit the location and carry out appropriate enforcement.

Please note that we do not remove vehicles that have parked adjacent to a driveway and the Civil Enforcement Officer attending will only be able to issue a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN). 

Please also note that the above telephone number is provided for the sole purpose of reporting vehicles blocking our residents driveways and cannot be used to report any other kind of parking contravention.

Why is the council trying to reduce the number of parents driving to school?

We want all parents to consider whether they can use alternative modes of transport to bring their children to school. The scheme is however only a ban on driving on the streets around school entrances; parents who feel they need to drive will have to park legally nearby and walk the last leg of the journey. Where available, information will be provided on locations where parents can park, such as supermarkets or leisure centre car parks. 

At many schools, there is already a high proportion of pupils walking and cycling to school and observations show that a significant number of the vehicles using school streets are in fact using the streets as a shortcut on their journey, rather than school-related traffic.

What if I want to speak to the council about the School Street?

 Please email [email protected] or call our contact centre on 020 8547 5002.

Last Modified: 13/10/2021 15:48:06