COUNCILLORS have supported a scheme to close some roads during the school run, but acknowledge the plans will not prove popular with some drivers.

The School Streets pilot, which will see streets around 11 Bradford District schools shut to most traffic in the morning drop off and afternoon pick up times, was discussed by members of Bradford Council's Regeneration and Environment Scrutiny Committee this week.

Members were told that the 11 schools had been chosen due to poor air quality in the surrounding area.

It was hoped that by blocking roads to traffic, except to homes and businesses on the street, it would encourage more families to walk or cycle to school rather than drive a short distance.

Sarah Possingham, who helped develop the strategy, said the pilot scheme could be rolled out to other schools if successful.

She said: "There is ample evidence from other areas of the country that implementing School Streets helps support the shift in behaviour and a reduction in car use."

Location revealed of ‘school streets' sites that will see roads closed to traffic during school run

Councillor Ralph Berry (Lab, Wibsey) endorsed the plan, and hoped it could be spread out to more schools if it proved a success. However he admitted the scheme would not impress everyone, adding: "We are going to get a bit of a rough ride from some people. Nothing can make a Councillor's life more unhappy than obstructing the free flow of a BMW driver in your ward, but we have to think about children as well."

Councillor Martin Love (Green, Shipley), said the scheme would also make lives easier for residents who live near schools, and regularly have to put up with heavy traffic in the morning and afternoon.

Councillor Brendan Stubbs (Lib Dem, Eccleshill) said it was vital that the Council clearly publicised the scheme so parents, residents and commuters knew of the closures, and why they were taking place.

He said: "I'm worried that we have a good project that just dies because the first two days causes travel chaos, and that we can't get past the anger it causes."

Members were told there would be wide consultation on the plans, which are due to be implemented early next year.

Councillor Michael Johnson (Lab, Tong) said most primary school children lived a short walk from their school. He said: "Schools have done lots of work to try and encourage families to walk to school, but they have not had a great deal of success.

"I might make some people angry by saying this, but walking is good for you. It is good for children and it is good for adults. Most children live near their school and for the vast majority of families it is possible to walk, they just choose not to. We have to try and encourage people to change their ways for their children's health and their own health.

Families urged to ditch cars and walk their children to school

"I understand some people do need to go by car, possibly for work reasons, but from my observations in my ward most parents drive to school from their home, which is quite near, drop them off and drive back home. I urge parents to walk children to school if they can."

Darren Parkinson, from campaign group Clean Air Bradford, said: "Bradford has an air pollution problem, and that is a particular problem for children.

"Evidence from similar schemes show an increase in the numbers of children walking and cycling to school."

Councillor Joanne Dodds (Lab, Great Horton) said she often walked her grandchild to school, and they had to walk past rows of parked, idling cars as they get closer to the school. She said; "It is awful what you are breathing."

Members supported the scheme, and asked for regular updates on how the pilot is progressing.

Eastwood Primary in Keighley

Girlington Primary

Grove House Primary in Eccleshill

High Crags Primary in Windhill

Holycroft in Keighley

Ley Top Primary in Allerton

Newhall Park Primary in Bierley

Shipley CE Primary

St Matthews CE Primary

St Stephens CE Primary

Westminster CE Primary