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Two Cambridge areas near primary schools will become “no-car zones”.

Two primary school streets in Cambridge will become a car-free zone starting next week (April 12).

Cambridgeshire County Council is bringing proceedings against two schools that have no car zones – St. Bede’s School on Birdwood Road in Coleridge and St. Matthew’s School on Norfolk Street in Petersfield.

This means that signs will be put up to warn that no vehicles can enter the area even though there are no obstacles. Only pedestrians and cyclists can only enter the streets during the semester period from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., with the exception of access to premises on the streets or on land next to the street where there is no other route.

The police will be able to enforce violations of the restrictions.

The two schools were selected for prepandemic in February 2020, with plans to implement the plans from summer 2020.

However, this has been put on hold due to the pandemic and will instead take place from April 12th.

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This study will be installed using an Experimental Traffic Regulation Ordinance (ETRO) that can be operated for up to 18 months. As with all ETROs, the consultation phase takes place in the first six months that the study is in force.

This means that the consultation phase ends on October 12th.

A letter from the council to local residents explaining the system said: “It is generally accepted that children are regularly at risk from harmful vehicle emissions that occur outside of their schools.

“That is why the county council’s highway officials were authorized by the General Purpose Committee to conduct a feasibility study to implement temporary no-car zones in Cambridge.”

It adds: “The feasibility study consists of two parts. First, to determine the amount of road construction required to legally implement a successful program. Second, to determine participants’ air quality and health impacts during the time it takes to run the program.

“As soon as sufficient information is available, a report will be sent to the responsible committee of the district council, in which the requirements for a further extended study, the completion of the existing study or the initiation of an implementation program are specified.”

This is different from another program that involves nine Cambridgeshire schools.

A sign for St. Bede's School on Birdwood Road

St. Bedes School on Birdwood Road

From September 2020, schools will have the option of temporarily closing one or more streets outside their buildings in order to create a pedestrian zone at the beginning and at the end of their school day.

To accommodate any temporary closures, barriers or signage have been put up by school volunteers.

The changes will be enforced by an ordinance on temporary traffic control, which, according to the councils, will apply from the beginning of the semester in September 2020 to the end of the summer semester in July 2021.

A council spokesman said: “We are aware that there may be some confusion between the two types of systems for eliminating traffic outside of schools, but this now gives us an opportunity to compare the effectiveness of the two approaches.”

The schools involved in the second program are Alconbury Primary; Barnabas Oley Elementary School in Great Gransden; Ely St Mary Junior; Hartford Junior at Huntingdon; Hatton Park Elementary School in Longstanton; St. Phillips Primary in Cambridge, Weatheralls Primary in Soham, Willingham Primary and Wisbech St Mary Academy.

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