Edinburgh's Dalry Primary School will see streets shut at key times to improve safety for children

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Street closures at pick-up and drop-off times will start in March

Two side streets outside an Edinburgh primary school will close at key times as part of a trial scheme to improve safety.

The new “school zone” at Dalry Primary follows a school travel survey by the city council. And it will see Springwell Place and Cathcart Place, where the school entrances are located, shut to traffic at the main drop-off and pick-up periods. The council will receive £46,000 from Sustrans through their Temporary School Streets Fund to implement the scheme, which also includes widening the footpath.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The initiative comes as the council develops 20-minute neighbourhood plans for the area. And if it is seen as a success, it is likely to be continued as part of that strategy.

Children shared their ideas for the school zone at the 'day of engagement' on December 5.Children shared their ideas for the school zone at the 'day of engagement' on December 5.
Children shared their ideas for the school zone at the 'day of engagement' on December 5.

The school is working with the council and Sustrans to design the project, which the council says could include some playful elements such as artwork, planters and benches or seats, so children feel safer and more relaxed. School children shared their ideas with the parents, carers and local residents following a day of engagement on Tuesday, December 5.

Dalry Primary head teacher Elaine Honeyman said: “The safety and wellbeing of our students is a top priority. By reducing traffic at pick-up and drop-off times, parents and children will feel more empowered to walk, wheel or cycle to school.

“Older pupils making their way to school on their own will be able to cross the roads much more safely. Limiting car access also reduces noise and air pollution, creating a more pleasant and sustainable atmosphere for both our school and the surrounding community.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

P7 pupil Eilish MacKay said: “I think this will improve safety around our school. It will encourage more families to do exercise, and walk, cycle or scooter to school. The improved width of the pavements will allow families to walk more safely without being squished up. If we can reduce the traffic in the streets around the school, it will decrease the pollution and give us cleaner air to breathe.”

The scheme, which is due to start in March next year, will mean the two streets are closed on school days between 8:15am and 9:15am; Mondays to Thursdays, between 2:30pm and 3:45pm; and Fridays, between 11:30am and 1pm. Local access will continue for residents of Cathcart Place and Springwell Place, emergency services and blue badge holders.

Transport convener Scott Arthur said: “As part of our recent survey, parents have told us that the streets surrounding Dalry Primary School can be busy with traffic and difficult to navigate safely at certain times of the day. This new ‘school zone’ is part of our 20-minute neighbourhood approach in the local area to create a safer, more relaxed environment for everyone to move around and spend time.

“We have seen from other similar initiatives across the city that many parents have enjoyed being able to walk and cycle more easily with their children every day, and we look forward to monitoring the results of this project and hopefully delivering the same benefits right across Dalry in partnership with local residents and businesses.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I know that many other schools in Edinburgh suffer from the same problems, so I hope that they will be able to learn from Dalry Primary School. No parent should have to worry about their child walking to school.”

An online survey is available until January 15, 2024, where residents, parents and carers can share comments on the current safety levels of Springwell Place and Cathcart Place, alongside their feedback and suggestions for the school zone project.

Related topics: