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More School Streets to be rolled out across West Yorkshire

Deniz Huseyin
21 March 2024
Tracy Brabin: We are not going to achieve Net Zero unless we get people out of their cars
Tracy Brabin: We are not going to achieve Net Zero unless we get people out of their cars

Another 15 School Streets are to be introduced across West Yorkshire, funded by Active Travel England (ATE). This will add to the 33 School Streets implemented in the region since 2019.

Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin said the schemes will help make school journeys safer, healthier and more enjoyable.

Speaking at the School Streets North conference in Bradford last week, she told delegates: “Be assured you have me in your corner and I will be here to help you achieve your ambitions.”

She said: “I have made Vision Zero a central plank of my Policing and Crime Strategy - we can do so much around the school gate to ensure that we make streets safer.”

School Streets would help people in the region to “think differently about the school run, seeing it less as a chore and more a cherished time with family”, said Brabin.

The schemes would complement West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s decision to retake control of bus services under its franchising plan. “It will mean you can hop on the bus that gets you to school on time, with routes no longer cut back by operators because they are not cost effective.”

Another compelling reason for more School Streets is they would help improve air quality, she said at the inaugural event, hosted by WYCA and organised by Landor LINKS.

“We need  better air quality to lower asthma levels across the region. One in 20 people in West Yorkshire die from poor air quality associated disease. It is up to all of us to prove to the next generation that we cared about them and their families, and we must act with urgency to make changes.”

Parents who have to drive long distances to work after dropping off their children should be encouraged to try ‘park & stride’ where they park away from the school.  “They can walk with their children, which sows the seeds of better mental health and gets young people used to walking,” said Brabin.

Research by WYCA shows that journeys taken in cars make up 24% of West Yorkshire’s carbon emissions. “I have committed to reaching Net Zero by 2038,” said Brabin. “We are not going to deliver that unless we get people out of their cars, and the car is not the first choice for families. Those practical alternatives have to be made and School Streets are absolutely at the heart of the solution when it comes to the climate emergency.”


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