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Reimagining the streets around your school allows the children, parents, carers and teachers to travel to and from school without air pollution, congestion and road danger.

Download toolkit

Why do it?

Air pollution caused by traffic and idling on streets surrounding schools is a common issue. There are also the safety issues associated with these vehicles. The aim of this section is to reduce air pollution at the school gate by reducing the number of cars dropping off and picking up pupils.

Project Overview

This is a potentially a longer term project that requires the school community to work together with and obtain agreement from the local authority. Firstly, conducting a school travel survey is quick and easy. You will find out how pupils get to school and the barriers that drivers perceive to walking or cycling. You can use this data, and the template letters and guides, to apply for a School Play Street (even in Covid-19 times) and campaign for a School Street.  



  • Removes the pollution and congestion from the school gate.

  • Low cost, especially if the school is already part of the Stars programme.

  • By removing cars, it encourages active pupils - walking, scooting and cycling.

  • Makes for a much nicer school ‘run’ for parents and children! 


Time requirements

  • 1 hour book-bag drop of School Travel Survey.

  • 8 hours collation of School Travel Survey data.

  • 1 hour to edit resources and send out to the community.

  • 2-3 hours to edit resources to apply for School Play Street.

  • 2-3 hours to edit resources to campaign for School Street.

  • *Unknown - liaison with Council

3 steps to Reimagining Streets


  • Conduct a school travel survey

  • Apply to the Council for a School Play Street

  • Campaign for a School Street

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School Travel Surveys are a common practice for schools so there may already be a recent one. Parents, ask the school. If not, request one to get the baseline information. We have an example in the downloads, if you need one.


Understanding how the children and teachers get to school is an important first step. You also need to know how far each person has to travel to see who is most likely able to change the way they get to school.


A School Play Street is a temporary road closure by the school that allows the children to play out in the street and adults to socialise safely, typically for a couple of hours at the end of a school day. These can be run regularly, perhaps start with one per term.


Local authorities can use their existing powers under road traffic legislation to allow temporary street closures at regular intervals. A recent revision to government legislation has made a play street much easier to apply for and implement. Many local authorities are now enabling ‘socially distanced’ Play Streets. 


The definitive how-to guide for apply for a School Play Street is here - 

It takes you through the whole process step-by-step with example letters, traffic management plans, and stewarding guidance. 


A Play Street helps raise awareness of air pollution, gives great insight to and can therefore garner support for a more regular closure of the road to motor vehicles at pick up and drop off may work, known as a ‘School Street’.



Now that you have the support of the school community from the Play Street, you can campaign for a School Street.


A School Street is a temporary close to the roads around schools at drop-off and pick-up times. Only pedestrians and cyclists are able to use the road at these times. Motor vehicles are not permitted, signage informs drivers of the closures, and enforcement is by barriers or cameras. Residents, local business, and blue badge holders can apply for exemptions.


How to go about it - 

  • Write a letter to your local councillors to request an Emergency (Covid) School Street, using this template. Over 400 are planned across London. 

  • Join the Mums for Lungs School Street Facebook page to share your experience and get tips from others.

  • Make sure your Local Authority has the Hackney Council School Streets Toolkit for Professionals, the how-to guide for transport departments. It was sent to all Local Authorities in May 2019, but it doesn’t hurt to remind them!  

  • In the toolkit download section, there are -

    • Several videos of School Streets in action

    • M4L how-to guide to campaign for a School Street

    • List of emergency school streets from DfT Covid funding

    • Articles about School Streets


Now you can let us know you’ve completed the project, and we will send you a Clean Air Sooner certificate.

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