Sutton School Streets - Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What are school streets?
A School Street is a road outside a school with a temporary restriction on motorised traffic at school drop-off and pick-up times. Streets remain open to pedestrians, cyclists and exempted vehicles during the restricted times.
Q. Why are we introducing these schemes?
Sutton Council is committed to making the streets outside our schools safer and healthier for our children. School Streets schemes keep children and parents safe and active, help improve the air quality around schools and reduce traffic speeds and congestion. From other boroughs’ experiences, residents of School Streets experience lower volumes of traffic, fewer instances of inconsiderate parking, and improved air quality.
This aligns with our policies in accordance with Ambitious for Sutton and Sutton Council’s draft Sustainable Transport Strategy, which are:
- Keeping the air cleaner through alternative travel choices, such as walking, cycling to work, using public transport or using electric vehicles; and
- Improving safety for travellers, especially for people with disabilities, children, older residents and other other vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists.
98% of schools in London are in areas exceeding World Health Organisation pollution limits and children growing up in polluted areas in London showed significantly smaller lung volume, with a loss of approximately five per cent in lung capacity - equivalent to two large eggs - compared to their peers in the rest of England.
We want to help support families to switch to active travel to school by making it clear that motor vehicles have no place outside school gates.
Q. How do the School Streets work?
School Street schemes in the borough of Sutton will be monitored by an Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) camera which will detect vehicles travelling into the restricted area. The restrictions will only apply at certain times of the day to coincide with the school pickup and drop offs, and only during term time. Please note - the schemes are operational during the term time of the school which the scheme relates to. For example, the scheme on Rotherfield Road outside All Saints Carshalton Church of England Primary School will be operational during the term time of All Saints school. This may mean that some schemes will be operational on different days, depending on the term dates of that particular school. Further information on school term dates can be found on our website here.
On 25 May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) became law. This law requires Sutton Council to explain to residents how your personal data will be used and stored. Please see our Privacy Notice for Sutton’s Parking Service for full details.
Q. What will happen with deliveries to the school/my property?
If you live within the restricted area, any deliveries will need to adhere to the closure timings. Please schedule any large deliveries outside of the restricted hours.
Q. What time are the restrictions enforceable?
The timings are dependent on the school and location of the school street and have been agreed after consultation with the schools. Full details of times and the boundaries of the school street schemes can be found here.
Q. Is there a penalty charge for entering the School Street?
Yes. If you are a non-exempt vehicle and enter the zone during the restricted times you will receive a Parking Charge Notice (PCN) of £65.00 rising to £130.00 if not paid within 14 days.
Q. What if I’m already within the school street parking zone?
Vehicles already within the zone at the start of the restricted times are free to leave.
Q. I’m a Blue Badge holder, will I be able to enter the school street?
If you or your child is a blue badge holder and attends a school in a school street then yes, you will be able to apply for an exemption permit from the council. Please view our Exemptions page to find out more.
Blue Badge holders needing access to properties within the school street zone are exempt.
Please note that Blue Badge holders using a route through a school street during the restricted times will not be exempt and may receive a PCN.
Q. I'm a parent. Can I enter the school street zone?
No. Parents dropping children at school will not be able to enter the school street zone. You can only enter if you or your child are a Blue Badge holder attending a school on a school street and have obtained an exemption permit. You will still be able to walk, cycle or scoot to school and the reduction in cars will make the journey safer and healthier for you and your family.
Q. I'm a carer. Can I enter the school street zone?
Residents within the school street zone will be able to apply for two additional permits for their carers.
Q. How do I get my exemption permit?
Details on how to apply for an exemption permit can be found here.
Q. I have medical prescriptions delivered from the hospital, are they exempt?
Medical delivery vehicles will not be exempt. A comprehensive review of each scheme will take place after six months following monitoring.
Q. Which other road users are permitted in the scheme?
- Emergency Services
- Residents within the zone (three per address)
- Blue badge holders needing access
- Carers of vulnerable residents needing access (two per address)
- Utility providers attending emergencies
- School buses
- Parents/ carers dropping off or collecting students with special educational needs or disabilities
- Postal Service
- Refuse vehicles
- Parents/ child carers
- Delivery drivers
- Motorcycles/ motor scooters
- School staff*
- Medical deliveries*
- Taxis/ Private Hire Vehicles
- General traffic
* There will be a comprehensive review of each scheme in the six months following monitoring.
Q. How are schools chosen for the scheme?
All the participating schools have expressed willingness to be part of the schemes to help reduce congestion on their roads and create a safer atmosphere for their pupils, parents and neighbours. Historically, many of the schools have reported severe congestion, road safety concerns and complaints from residents about inconsiderate parking, engine idling and sometimes verbal abuse from parents and carers.
Q. How long will the scheme last?
School Streets uses a Traffic Management Order (TMO) for each scheme detailing the area of the restriction, restriction times and which types of vehicles are exempted. The School Streets scheme is permanent but a comprehensive review will be undertaken after 6 months following monitoring. The TNMO was advertised in the London Gazette on 30th September 2021 https://www.thegazette.co.uk/notice/3894760.
Q. What is a Delegated Decision Notice?
A Delegated Decision Notice (DDN) is a report on a decision taken under delegated authority to Council officers. At the Environment and Sustainable Transport Committee on 24th June 2021, it was recommended to delegate to the Strategic Director of Environment, Housing and Neighbourhoods the finalisation of implementation in line with the proposals set out in the Safer and Healthier Streets report and in the light of further consultation with schools.
Q. Were other options explored to improve the traffic problem and safety outside the school before the introduction of the school street scheme?
Other traffic management options, like one way systems or extensive parking restrictions have been considered, but to introduce them on a permanent 24/7 basis would penalise those residents living in the affected streets based on an issue that occurs only during school term times at drop-off and pick-up times. It would also not discourage or penalise parking on school zig zag markings.
The School Streets project provides an opportunity to trial a new way of addressing concerns raised around school parking and congestion, whilst encouraging and enabling alternative and sustainable forms of travel to school.
Q. What happens if I have a courtesy car or have to use another car?
You will need to apply for an exemption as normal.
Q. Should the closed times be shorter?
The timings, which are based on the times when the majority of pupils are travelling to or from school, were decided on advice from schools.
Q. Who will enforce these restrictions?
London Borough of Sutton’s Parking Services team will be in charge of enforcement.