Following a motion by the Lib Dems, Surrey County Council unanimously agreed to introduce 'school streets' in Surrey with the aim of encouraging active travel, improving air quality and promoting road safety.
A school street is where the road outside a school is closed to motor vehicles during school drop-off and pick-up times except for those residents living in that street.
Today Councillors unanimously voted for a motion proposed by the Lib Dems to introduce school streets to Surrey and to increase other efforts to improve the environment around schools by considering neighbourhood zones, tree and hedge planting and air pollution projects.
The Council has approved the principle of a school street pilot at Heath End School in Farnham and will invite nominations for other school streets elsewhere in Surrey.
Lib Dem County Councillor Will Forster, who proposed the motion, said:
"I am delighted that all County Councillors voted for my motion to introduce school streets in Surrey. During lockdown, people across Surrey experienced better air quality and a safer environment with fewer cars on the road. We need to preserve these benefits.
We should not go back to the pollution, traffic and stress that dominated life for many of us before lockdown. We do not want roads outside schools full of cars pumping out toxic fumes for everyone to breathe in.
Bringing school streets to Surrey is an important step in improving road safety while reducing pollution. The scheme will result in better air quality, less noise and more, greener streets for children and their parents.
Lib Dem County Councillor Angela Goodwin, who seconded the motion, added:
"We have a golden opportunity to do something much more practical and exciting for our schools. But we can't do this on our own - as well as the schools, we'll need school staff, school families, local residents, academics, District and Boroughs and Councillors all on side. And communication and engagement will be so important.
"We will need to be bold and have the courage to try something new."
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