Pedal-powered LTNs: Could mobile modal filters help protect school streets?

pop-up parklet being towed by bicycle

Towns and cities can be safer and more pleasant places to live and work when motorised traffic is restricted, so how best to enforce LTNs and school streets?

Planters and bollards are often used to create low traffic neighbourhoods by blocking rat runs, and cameras are relied on to safeguard school streets, but how about the idea of a mobile modal filter that could be moved into place at very little notice and expense?

The pedal-powered parklet we designed in 2019 wasn’t built with that role in mind, but it could be quickly towed into place to create a temporary LTN.

The streets surrounding schools are a barometer of our attitudes towards the young. In Britain today, more than 950 schools are near roads with harmful levels of pollution; dirty air which has a disproportionately detrimental effect on young lungs. Countless more are situated on roads that force pupils to run a gauntlet of speeding drivers and pavement parking. These threats to health can be addressed at a small scale by School Streets – peak-time roadblocks that safeguard children from traffic.

girl wheeling her bicycle away from school

School streets help boost walking and cycling to school

The closure of streets in this way tackles congestion and improves air quality at school gates, making it easier and safer to walk and cycle to school.

It also creates a more pleasant environment for everyone, while making sure residents, businesses, pedestrians and cyclists can still use the road. Motorised vehicles are not permitted to enter the street at drop-off and pick-up times unless they’ve been granted an exemption (residents living or working in a school street zone, a business in a school street zone or a blue badge holder).

Would your kids benefit from a school street?

Councils who’d like a school street but cannot afford a camera-enforcement scheme can use a traffic management order to allow the road to be closed by traffic marshals. It’s an approach that relies on volunteers, but for schools with a problem with dangerous traffic and who can call on parents for help, it can be a viable alternative to cameras.

The ethical choice

The ETA was established in 1990 as an ethical provider of green, reliable travel services. Over 30 years on, we continue to offer cycle insurance , breakdown cover  and mobility scooter insurance while putting concern for the environment at the heart of all we do.

The Good Shopping Guide judges us to be the UK’s most ethical provider.


Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Your name and email are required.