Bristol School Streets

We are delivering School Streets in Bristol as part of our plans to improve road safety, encourage walking, cycling and scooting to and from school and improve the air quality and environment outside of schools.

What are School Streets?

Bristol City Council is committed to making Bristol’s streets safer for everyone living, working and visiting the city. An area of priority are the streets outside our schools – we want to make the journey to school safer and healthier for children and their families, and help to make it a nice environment for everyone living and working there.

One of the ways we are doing this is through the introduction of School Streets, whereby the street or streets immediately outside the school entrance are closed to non-essential vehicles at school opening and closing times.

Only people walking, wheeling, cycling and scooting are permitted access to the School Street zone while the restriction is in place, with exemptions given to emergency vehicles and Blue Badge holders. In some cases, permits will be given to residents and businesses living or working within the zone – this varies from scheme to scheme and is decided on an individual basis.

Aims of the School Street scheme:

The aim of a School Street is to make it easier and safer for children and their parents to walk, wheel, cycle and scoot to school.

Reducing the use of private car journeys to and from school should lead to:

  • Less road danger from traffic
  • Less anti-social behaviour from inconsiderate parking and dangerous driving
  • More children walking, wheeling, cycling and scooting to school
  • Reduced congestion and local pollution from idling vehicles

School Streets are now being rolled out by local authorities across the country. In February 2020 we launched our own pilot scheme at two schools: St Peter’s CofE Primary School and Wansdyke Primary School.

In May 2021 we launched School Streets at two additional schools: Redfield Educate Together Primary Academy and Victoria Park Primary School,

Three more schools joined Bristol’s School Streets programme in 2022. Chester Park Junior School launched in June 2022 and Minerva Primary Academy and Whitehall Primary School became our 6th and 7th School Streets, both launching in September 2022.

We now have plans to extend the School Streets program to Cathedral Schools in mid 2023 and are currently asking Cathedral Primary School (CPS), Bristol Cathedral Choir School (BCCS) and the Bristol Cathedral community for their opinions.

  • Schools that are interested in taking part in Bristol’s School Streets programme are put through an initial assessment. This will look at the school’s previous engagement with active travel initiatives, such as Modeshift STARS.

    We also consider other criteria such as the suitability of the road layout, as a School Street will not work for every school. For example, closing a road that is on a bus route or one that experiences heavy traffic could cause other traffic issues and may not be possible.  In this instance, we can support the school with alternative schemes such as setting up a Park and Stride or Walking Bus.

    Our ambition is to expand the Bristol School Streets programme to more schools across the city. Funding for a further 5 schemes has now been confirmed for 2023/2024, and we will be shortlisting schools over the coming months.

    All schools that have already submitted an Expression of Interest (EOI) are already on our list and do not need to reapply. If you are a parent or carer of a child at the school, please speak to your school who would need to apply as we need commitment from the school.

    If you are not sure whether your school has already submitted an EOI, please email [email protected] and we will be able to confirm.

    If your school has not yet applied and would like to be considered for a School Street in the future, please email [email protected].  Explain why you feel your school would be well placed to take part in the scheme and remember this must come from the school itself.

    We will contact all schools who have applied in September 2022 to let them know the outcome of the shortlisting process for our next batch of School Streets.