School Streets Projects – Calcot


Rob Hill contacted Cheryl Evans from WBC and Joe Lally from Calcot Schools about how the School Streets initiative had made a difference to child safety. WBC gave their own report on how it has worked:

Positive Impact of the School Streets Initiative at Calcot

Introduction and Implementation

The School Streets initiative at Calcot Infant and Junior Schools began as a pilot project in 2021 to enhance child safety by restricting vehicle access during busy school hours. This initiative aimed to create a safer, more pleasant environment for students, encouraging walking and cycling.

Phases and Enforcement

The project was introduced in two phases, with implementation starting in September 2021 following a 6-week public consultation. Initially, a permit system was used, but many parents and residents ignored the restrictions. In July 2023, West Berkshire Council (WBC) received Part 6 Powers, allowing them to enforce traffic rules strictly. ANPR cameras were activated on 8 January 2024, marking a move towards stronger enforcement.

Positive Results

Since the cameras were installed, there has been a significant reduction in vehicles within the restricted zone, significantly improving safety (see the charts on the next page). So far 1,132 warning notices and 133 penalties for repeat offenders have been issued, demonstrating effective compliance.

Education and Penalties

The School Street scheme includes a six-month educational period. Offenders can reduce their penalty by completing an online awareness course, which explains the importance of the School Streets initiative:

Supporting Measures

The success of the School Streets programme is supported by several additional measures:

  • Bikeability cycle training and push-scooter training to encourage safe cycling and scooting.
  • Increased cycle and scooter storage at the school.
  • Park and Stride schemes at The Calcot Centre and Linear Park to promote safe walking routes.
  • A new zebra crossing on Royal Avenue (coming summer 2024) to ensure safe pedestrian access.
  • Pedestrian railings and parking restriction reviews on nearby roads to improve safety and traffic flow.

Community Response

Joe Lally, Joint Chair of Governors for the two schools in Calcot, reports that parents feel the school area is now calmer and safer. While some concerns were raised about parking shifting to nearby areas, many neighbours and businesses appreciate the improved conditions. Some parents suggested that those living close to the school should not have exemption permits, as they were often the ones ignoring the rules.

Before School Streets started
After School Streets had been initiated


Encouraged by the success at Calcot, a second School Streets initiative has been introduced at Francis Baily School in Thatcham, aiming to replicate these positive outcomes.


The School Streets initiative at Calcot has significantly improved child safety by reducing traffic during school drop off and pick up times. Supported by educational measures and comple-mentary programmes, this initiative has created a safer, more pleasant environment for everyone. The continued efforts and community support are key to sustaining and expanding these benefits.

Cheryl Evans and Mandip Bikhu
(West Berkshire Council)

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