The new School Street will help make it easier for children to walk and cycle the school run

Islington Council unveils plans for cleaner, greener, healthier streets for schools on main roads

Islington Council is inviting local people to have their say on plans to continue its pioneering School Streets programme, which help make the school run cleaner, greener and healthier.     

School Streets are a key part of the council’s ambition to create a more equal borough, where everyone can travel safely and easily. By making it easier to walk, cycle, and scoot to and from school, they help reduce the toxic effects of air pollution and support the health of Islington’s children.     

To date, Islington Council has introduced 36 School Streets, covering 37 primary schools. In November 2020, Healthy Streets Scorecard revealed that, when taking into account planned and installed schemes, Islington had the highest proportion of schools on School Streets of any London borough.           

So that even more children, parents, guardians and teachers can benefit from the popular programme, Islington Council can today announce plans to introduce School Streets outside Ambler Primary School and Canonbury Primary School. The potential introduction of schemes outside these schools is particularly significant as, unlike Islington’s other School Streets, they would be on main roads.   

To make the introduction of the two schemes possible, the council is proposing changes to Blackstock Road and Canonbury Road, including:     

  • Widening footways outside the schools, moving traffic and its emissions further from the school gate and improving safety.    
  • New planting areas with various new plants and trees. 
  • Introducing new cycle stands for bicycles and scooters. Seating areas for relaxing are also being proposed.     

While Islington’s other School Streets schemes involve temporarily closing streets outside schools to motor vehicle traffic at drop-off and pick-up times, this isn’t possible for schools on main roads, as these roads are key to the local transport system. It’s expected that the introduction of the proposed package of measures outside the two schools will create greener streets.  

Public consultations on the changes outside each school are underway and will close on Sunday, 16 January 2022. You can find out more about the Ambler Primary School and Canonbury Primary School consultations on the council’s website.     

Cllr Rowena Champion, Islington Council’s Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said: “We’re passionate about making Islington a cleaner, greener, healthier place for everyone, especially schoolchildren.     

“Our School Streets make it safer and easier for children to walk, cycle and scoot on the school run, supporting a healthy upbringing while also helping to address air pollution and climate change.     

“That is why we’re working to introduce the schemes to schools on main roads, starting with Ambler Primary School and Canonbury Primary Schools.  We’re really looking forward to hearing from children, parents, guardians, teachers, residents and local businesses about our plans for these two schools.”    

Feedback from the public consultations will help decide if each scheme should be introduced on a permanent basis. If a decision is taken to introduce them permanently, construction work will begin in the New Year.    

Juliet Benis, Headteacher at Ambler Primary School, said: “We’ve been calling for measures to make the streets outside our school more pleasant and safer, so we’re pleased that the council has listened and come forward with these exciting proposals.   

“If approved, the scheme will create a more pleasant, greener environment outside the school gate, where children, parents and carers can walk and use bikes and scooters more safely on the school run, socialise in the seating area, and enjoy the new planting that will make our immediate environment more healthy.   

“We know that our children have lots of great ideas, and they’re looking forward to having their say during the consultation.”  

Notes to editors

In September 2021, Islington Council released monitoring data on 13 of its School Streets, which revealed that the schemes have so far met the objectives of the programme by contributing to a reduction in air pollution, an improvement in safety by reducing traffic and speeds, and have helped children to exercise on their way to and from school.       

The report also showed that, at Thornhill Primary School, there was an 11% rise in the number of pupils walking, cycling and scooting to school between May 2019 and August 2021, with the proportion of children travelling by car falling from 17% to 8% during the same period.       

Contact information

If you are a member of the public with a general question about the council please view the contact information on our website or call 020 7527 2000.