Junctions to be closed 24 hours a day outside two schools in Brighton and Hove

TWO roads will be closed at one end at all times as part of measures to support social distancing and improve safety outside schools.

Brighton and Hove City Council is reintroducing the School Streets scheme later this month.

The council is bringing in trial closures in roads outside three schools in the city – Downs Junior School, Brunswick Primary School and St Luke’s Primary School- from February 22.

In addition to the closures during school drop-off and pick up times, between 8am and 10am and 2pm and 4pm, two roads will be closed at one end at all times, with access for cyclists and pedestrians only.

The junctions will be closed between Somerhill Road and Lansdowne Road in Hove, near Brunswick Primary, and between Queen’s Park Rise and Queen’s Park Terrace, outside St Luke’s Primary.

The Argus: A diagram from a council document shows plans for the closure of the junction between Somerhill Road and Lansdowne Road in HoveA diagram from a council document shows plans for the closure of the junction between Somerhill Road and Lansdowne Road in Hove

Documents on the council website state the 24-hour junction closure in Queen’s Park Rise “is clearer and easier for motorists to understand and means the only closure at school drop off and pick up times is at the Queen’s Park Rise and St Luke’s Terrace junction.

“Making the restrictions clearer to road users should also reduce the need for volunteers at school closure times.”

Diagrams show that bollards will be placed at the Queen’s Park Terrace junction, and double yellow lines will be extended to give vehicles space to turn around in Queen’s Park Rise.

In Somerhill Road there will also be “semi-permanent fixtures” in place to prevent all motor vehicles from exiting and entering from Lansdowne Road, and also a gate at the junction with Somerhill Avenue, to be manually operated during school drop-off and pick up hours.

The changes, brought in through Experimental Traffic Orders, will be monitored and people are encouraged to comment so a decision can be made on whether they will become permanent, the council said.

The Argus: A diagram shows the plans for bollards at the junction between Queen's Park Rise and Queen's Park TerraceA diagram shows the plans for bollards at the junction between Queen’s Park Rise and Queen’s Park Terrace

In addition to the junction closures, during term time, motorists will not be able to drive in the following roads during the school drop-off and pick-up hours:

  • The entire length of Florence Place, outside Downs Infants School
  • Grantham Road outside Downs Junior School, from the junction with Ditchling Road to the junction with Edburton Avenue
  • Somerhill Road outside Brunswick Primary School, south of the junction with Somerhill Avenue
  • Queen’s Park Rise, between Queen’s Park Terrace and St Luke’s Terrace

The School Streets scheme was launched in September to support physical distancing outside schools, by reducing the street space vehicles occupy.

The scheme also aimed to promote healthier means of travel, such as walking and cycling, and to make roads safer.

Councillor Jamie Lloyd, deputy chairman of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, said: “Since their launch in September, School Streets have provided welcome space for children to travel to school safely and physically distanced.

“Children, teachers and parents are all hugely supportive of School Streets and removing the threat of traffic makes the school run more enjoyable for everyone.

The Argus:

“However, as we do not have the same powers as London councils who have successfully implemented these schemes, their introduction has presented some challenges.

“It has meant we were reliant on volunteers and temporary barriers to open the road up to pedestrians during the school pick-up and drop-off.

“To address these challenges, we are trying new methods to create streets which are more walking and cycle friendly, by restricting traffic at all times of the day.

“These changes are being implemented on what’s known as an experimental traffic order and the six-month consultation period will give us the opportunity to assess whether this method works.

“We have also written to the Secretary of State for Transport requesting additional powers to make School Streets work for everyone.”

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Councillor Marianna Ebel, who represents Goldsmid ward, said: “Many residents have over the last couple of years contacted me to voice their concerns about dangerous driving, near-by collisions and actual collisions. And many parents in the Goldsmid ward do not feel it’s safe enough to let their children walk or cycle to school on their own.

“We started the school streets pilot scheme in September at Brunswick Primary and have received very positive feedback from parents, school staff and pupils. However, the pilot scheme needed a large number of volunteers to remain successful.

“By creating a Somerhill Road that’s more walking and cycling friendly we will have four key benefits: the scheme will be able to continue with fewer volunteers, we help with physical distancing when schools fully reopen, parents are reassured it’s safe to cycle and walk in the area during all times of the day and we all win with improved air quality around Brunswick Primary School.”

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