My Urban Car

Putney school street opens – thank you!

On Friday the 5th June I put in an application for the “3 school” “school street” along Charlwood road in Putney. Having been a parent at Our Lady of Victories, I can remember the chaos of 850 primary children and their parents from 3 primary schools heading in both directions down this road with a pavement only about a metre wide on either side. I’d previously missed a chance to make this part of the original Wandsworth trial but clearly Covid social distancing requirements gave this long overdue measure a fresh urgency.

A “school street” allows the temporary closure of a road at school dropoff and pickup times. In this case, other than for residents & a few other exemptions, the road will be for pedestrians & cycles only between 8.30 and 9.15 and 1pm and 3.15 on weekdays in term time.

This allows the roadspace to be allocated to our children and parents along with passers by when most needed and encourage walking, cycling and scooting to school. It should also reduce the chance of injury from vehicles & motorbikes as well as exposure to exhaust fumes from combustion engines, especially diesels, that are extremely toxic to the human body, especially in children.

The new school street signs outside Hotham School

The signs designating the new school street went up on Monday 6th July 2020. The initial scheme covers one of the 2 sections, from Hotham/ Lacy road junction along Charlwood road and round the corner along Clarendon drive past the RSPCA hospital as far as the corner of Gamlen road. Sadly the next section down to St Mary’s at Felsham road has not been possible yet but I am hopeful this will be remedied when schools restart in September.

I would like to thank the interesting coalition that has made this possible in rapid time. Firstly the Heads, Deputy Heads and Governors of Our Lady of Victories, Hotham & St Mary’s primary schools who gave their backing.

Thanks also to Cllr John Locker who supported and submitted the application and helped keep it moving forward. A big thank you also goes to both council officers from Wandsworth Council who handled the proposal with urgency and positivity.

And last but by no means least the fantastic local volunteers from Extinction Rebellion Putney who not only gave their support and time, but also allowed the school street to start “a little before” the arrival of the official signage. Their politeness and tact in dealing with drivers that had been looking forward to roaring down the road was an object lesson for future volunteers from the parents rota.

It is important to note that, for this school street at least, everyone above, along with the vast majority of parents and residents and a cross party group of councillors gave encouragement – an unlikely coalition working towards a common goal.

Of course it’s not done yet. The success of this depends parent volunteers to join the rota for the temporary barriers needed when road is closed for traffic.

Finally one big lesson learnt along the way. I started with a clear understanding that neither the council nor the school would be providing staff to manage the barriers. At the same time I realise now that getting parent volunteers on a rota from 3 schools would have been very much harder or impossible from a standing start. The local “XR” volunteers have filled that gap and provided vital time to show both Governors and parents how to run a “school street” & why it’s important. I’m relieved to say they have promised to help till the end of term even now the street is “official”

David Nicholson

David Nicholson Is the founder of Rivergecko Ltd & MyUrbanCar which provide consultancy and advice for drivers and fleets to speed the transition from dirty fossil fuel transport to clean vehicles powered by renewable energy on land water and air.

The @MyUrbanCar twitter feed is a source of news & reviews of electric & plugin cars and vans in the UK.
The @rivergecko twitter feed & websites bring news and opinion on cleantech transport including cars, vans, buses, trucks, shipping, rail & aviation as well as autonomous vehicles & renewable energy, air pollution & motor industry news.

David Nicholson has worked as an underwriter at Lloyd's of London since the 1980's. His interest in technology goes back many years including interactive mapping, apps, green tech, boats, solar and cars.

Tag Cloud

Air pollution Air Quality Air Source Heat Pump All Season tyres Autonomous cars Autopilot banking Battery day Battery Electric Vehicle best electric cars boosting your EV range buying a new EV Carbon emissions Carbon Intensity Cars Car sales CCC Central Heating charging charging costs China Citroen Citroen e-C4 City Clean Air Plans clean air zone clean air zones Co2 Congestion charge contactless COP26 Cornwall councils Diesel Diesel emissions Dieselgate Diesel Hybrid Diesel sales DS3 Crossback E-Tense Eden project electric car Electric car buyers guide electric car charging electric car nightmare Electric car range electric cars electricity bills Elon Musk Euro 6 Eurotunnel EV EV - Electric Vehicles EV Day Trips EVmaggedon Evoque EV Van price Fossil to Cleantech fowey France Fund management Geniepoint Glasgow Global warming Gretna Gretna green Gridserve Highways England Home Heating Hybrid Hydrogen hydrogen combustion engine hydrogen fuel cell I-Pace Idling improving air quality Instavolt Insurance is charging cheaper than petrol and diesel Italy Jaguar JCB Karoq Lands End local authority London Mayor of London MG 5 EV MG ZS EV Michelin Michelin Cross Climate2 Model 3 Mont Blanc Motorway Tolls Mythbusting National Grid NEVS new car sales New Car sales 2020 new electric cars north devon NOx Offshore Wind Osprey Oxford Particulates Petrol Peugeot e-2008 plugin Pm2.5 Pm10 Podpoint Pollution Preconditioning putney RDE RDE1 RDE2 RDE Step 2 reduce flying replacing gas with a heat pump Rhyl Rhyl Charge Park Rishi Sunak rising charging costs Road Safety RoboTaxi Saab Schools school street School streets Scotland self driving cars single purpose vehicles Skoda St Ives Supercharger Switzerland Tate St Ives Tech Levels Telsa Tesla Tesla in snow Tesla Model 3 top electric cars Trains UK UK car sales UK car sales April 2020 UK car sales May 2020 UK Charging UK Electricity carbon emissions UK Public Charging ULEZ ULEZ sunset vans VAT Vauxhall Mokka-E Wales WLTP