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Queen’s Park gets its first school street

From 14 September Kempe Road (from Peploe to Chamberlayne) will be designated a “School Street”. It will be one of 30 such Streets in Brent, brought in as a response to the opportunities for improving air quality and road safety as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic. TfL are behind the plan.

The aim is to make the street motor vehicle free (with limited exemptions) during the hours of 8.15 to 9.15am and 2.30 to 4pm Monday to Friday during term time. These are the normal drop off and pick up times for parents of children at Ark Franklin school who use their cars to deliver and collect them.

Important exemptions from the rules are emergency and residents’ vehicles (including bona fide visitors and deliveries). However the scheme will work best if movements by exempted vehicles are kept to a minimum.

Brent have made emergency orders under the Road Traffic Regulation Act, which do not require prior consultation. Despite this QPARA has established a dialogue with the Brent team about details of the scheme since the relevant road signs were spotted by an eagle-eyed Street Rep in August.

You can find all the details available to the general public at this link on Brent’s website: https://consultation.brent.gov.uk/highways-and-infrastructure/ark-franklin-emergency-schools-streets-zone/ . This includes the letter sent to individual residents. It will be for the school staff to operate the temporary barriers across the street during the restricted hours.

There will be a running consultation on the scheme during the next 6 months, but QPARA plans to see how it goes before formulating conclusions. Meanwhile we wish the school and the residents well. For a number of years we have been working to see the end of pick up/drop off by car at primary schools in the area for safety and air quality reasons. This scheme has some loose ends, but that is inevitable considering the speed of its introduction.

More generally we want to support all our local schools as they manage the return of pupils after the lockdown. This is by far the most challenging aspect of the next phase of living with the pandemic given the constraints and the numbers involved.

QPARA Streetscape Group

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