St John's Primary and Nursery School leads the way for healthier, cleaner school travel in Southampton

St John’s Primary and Nursery School has partnered with Southampton City Council and Balfour Beatty Living Places to implement a timed road closure outside the school at drop-off and pick-up times. This closure is the first of its kind in the city and has been undertaken to address the risk of traffic at peak times and improve the air quality around the school. The closure, which came in to effect on Monday 26 November, will see a section of French Street closed to motorised vehicles to provide a safer environment for families on the journey to school.

St John’s Primary and Nursery School was identified as a particularly pertinent site to benefit from these measures as the school is split by a road and is located within the medieval part of the city. This is the school’s latest initiative to tackle air pollution and encourage active travel, following their appearance earlier this year at Clean Air Day where they entertained crowds with their ‘Clean Air Dance.’ Pupils have participated in several other activities including scooter training, air quality monitoring and Walktober, the month long ‘walk to school’ challenge. They also track their journeys to school using Living Streets’ Travel Tracker. These efforts have earned the school a Silver award from Modeshift STARS (Sustainable Travel Accreditation and Recognition Scheme), the national scheme acknowledging schools that have excelled in encouraging active travel. 

A launch event was held on French Street on Friday 23 November where parents and children got to learn more about the road closure and other sustainable ways of travelling to school. My Journey’s ‘Get Cycle Savvy Pit Stop’ was on hand to deliver free bike checks and ‘try a bike’ sessions and children were able to take part in scooter training and bike skills activities. Representatives of Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking, also attended to support the event. Even Babs the Bird, My Journey Southampton's mascot, made an appearance!