Delivering School Streets Schemes

Improving the quality of life in our communities with School Streets

School Streets schemes can bring about behavioural change by applying the right balance between cameras and softer measures.

If you’re looking to understand School Streets schemes, you may be asking, what are School Streets? School Street schemes define an area of road outside a school subject to a temporary restriction on motorised traffic at school drop-off and pick-up times. The purpose of School Streets schemes is to provide a safer, healthier and cleaner environment for schools and their communities. School Streets schemes address

  • Road safety 
  • Traffic congestion 
  • Air quality.

Limiting traffic flow around schools with a School Street scheme offers a proactive solution for reducing road dangers, air pollution, and poor health. These schemes encourage behavioural change to a healthier lifestyle by promoting active travel to school for families.

ZatPark - School Streets ANPR parking system - parent and child holding hands walking to school

The growth of School Streets schemes

The number of School Streets schemes across the UK is rising steadily. In London in 2019, there were just 76 School Streets, and this number has grown to almost 550 in 2023. There are School Streets in almost every London borough, and a quarter of London primary schools now have defined School Streets. 

How do School Streets schemes work?

A School Street is a traffic restriction that operates for set periods during the morning and afternoon pick-up and drop-off times during school terms. There are no restrictions over weekends and during school holidays. Traffic restrictions are usually limited to 45-60 minutes. Some schemes restrict traffic for longer in the afternoon if the school has staggered finishing times. 

School Street schemes are enforceable under the Traffic Management Act 2004. Vehicles without an exemption entering a School Street zone during restricted times may incur a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN). 

Vehicles are not allowed to enter the School Street between the restricted times unless they have an exemption. Exemptions can be granted for justifiable reasons that can include

  • Residents
  • School staff
  • Local business staff within the school street area 
  • Disabled Blue Badge holders 
  • Healthcare workers
  • Emergency service vehicles. 

The community benefits of School Streets schemes

  Research by various local authorities has proven that these low-traffic areas enable parents and children to safely access the school while benefiting from a cleaner environment.   Transport for London (TfL) identified significant environmental improvements, such as:
  • Vehicles per hour were reduced by 70% to 90% during the restriction times. 
  • The speed of authorised vehicles travelling through School Streets was reduced during the hours of operation. 
  • The number of people cycling during the restriction period increased.
  • School Streets reduced the number of trips made by private cars, which reduces nitrogen dioxide emissions. 

ANPR vs CCTV for School Streets

Implementing and enforcing School Streets schemes

School Streets schemes are delivered by local authority professionals such as transport officers or local authority environment officers. They work with various stakeholders and consult on the best ways to implement the scheme. Stakeholders can include:

  • Councillors
  • Teachers
  • Road safety campaigners
  • Transport researchers
  • Traffic enforcement teams
  • City planners

Following a successful consultation process, School Streets can be implemented using camera technology which monitors traffic during restricted periods. Unattended CCTV can monitor moving traffic however one of the challenges for local authorities is the installation of these cameras. Fixed cameras are expensive to install and so some councils have chosen to use re-deployable mobile cameras. These CCTV systems offer greater versatility, quicker installation, and cost-efficiency especially as a School Streets scheme doesn’t require a permanent solution. 

Whichever camera type is chosen, the solution must have Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) built-in otherwise, the scheme cannot easily be enforced without manually reviewing CCTV footage from all monitored streets. Identifying contravening vehicles and issuing PCNs can only be done efficiently when using a back-office enforcement solution that easily integrates with ANPR cameras.

What is the difference between ANPR and CCTV cameras?

ANPR Re-deployable cameras for School Streets

We’ve highlighted that re-deployable cameras are suited to implementing School Streets unless you already have fixed cameras in place.

Compared to fixed CCTV systems, re-deployable ANPR cameras offer greater versatility, quicker installation, and cost-efficiency. Here are some camera features to consider when investing in re-deployable ANPR cameras. 

  • Rapid installation – cameras that can be placed anywhere make it much easier to map out your on-street ANPR coverage.
  • Easy to put up and take down – cameras that use simple fixture brackets can be fitted to standard street installations like signposts or school boundaries. 
  • High-definition image capture – to ensure your system can accurately record vehicles. High-quality cameras avoid capturing unclear or blurred images and so help with accurate enforcement.
  • Low-light/night capability – to ensure your cameras can function during the winter months, high-quality Infra-Red (IR) cameras are the best solution to this problem.
  • Cloud-accessible – using networked IP (Internet Protocol) ANPR allows re-deployable cameras to connect to 4G/5G networks enabling full camera mobility. IP ANPR cameras can be connected to wired, wireless or 4G/5G networks. Another benefit of IP ANPR is its ability to provide real-time monitoring if needed.
  • Self-powered for cost-efficiency – rapid deployment cameras can be powered with rechargeable batteries or solar panels, there are no snaking power cables to worry about, and no expensive power supply to organise and install.

As you can see, re-deployable ANPR cameras are very versatile. They provide accurate image capture, are designed to operate in remote areas, are self-powered, and are easy to put up and take down.

Combine School Streets technology

When combined with a moving traffic and parking enforcement software system enforcing a School Street is affordable and effective. By using your re-deployable cameras with real-time integration with your traffic and parking enforcement system, you can monitor your School Street and enforce contraventions accurately, effectively and fairly.

The combination of rapid-deployment cameras and customisable enforcement software gives you the versatility to implement a School Street in any city, town, or village. You have the freedom to choose exactly how you want your School Street scheme to operate and can use technology developed specifically to achieve it. Not only does this mean you can successfully implement a School Streets scheme, but also means it’s more affordable because you only pay for the technology you really need.

The difference between ANPR and CCTV cameras

How ZatPark ANPR helps

ZatPark is a cloud-based parking management service. It provides end-to-end management of parking management processes. ZatPark’s advanced back office suite integrates seamlessly with a host of third-party ANPR, appeals, and debt resolution suppliers.

Benefits of ANPR from ZatPark

  • ZatPark ANPR improves efficiency and extends your enforcement hours
  • Improves customer service
  • Seamlessly integrates the processing of ANPR images
  • Provides innovative tools to minimise administration
  • Speeds up booking-in processes for pre-booked parking
  • Reduces your financial overhead
  • Reduces the need for on-foot patrolling officers
  • ZatMobile mobile app extends ZatPark’s ANPR features to on-foot staff
  • ZatMobile’s ANPR capability speeds up vehicle observations.
Talk to us to discover how ZatPark ANPR can help you.

ZatPark ANPR camera integrations

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