The the announcement that Hazelwood Primary is one of the schools chosen for the next batch of school streets could not have been more perfectly timed, as on Friday the team behind the Hazelwood Lane Project will be submitting their ideas to the council. There's still time to sign the petition and let the council know that people want a safer and pleasanter walk to school.
A group comprising parents of children at Hazelwood School and nearby residents are asking the public to sign a petition to Enfield Council in support of the Hazelwood Lane Project, which was launched this week to coincide with Walk to School Week.It proposes major improvements to pavements, road crossings and public spaces between Green Lanes and Hazelwood School, all of which are currently in a very poor state. The objective is to encourage sustainable and active travel, reduce the number of car drop-offs outside the school and make it easier for children to travel to school independently.
WOW is a pupil-led initiative run by Living Streets, the charity for everyday walking. Children self-report how they get to school every day using the interactive WOW Travel Tracker. If they travel sustainably (walk, cycle or scoot) once a week for a month, they get rewarded with a badge. On average, WOW schools see a 30 per cent reduction in car journeys taken to the school gate and a 23 per cent increase in walking rates.
'Social distancing' has drawn attention to how narrow many pavements are and what a small percentage of the space on our streets is devoted to walking - which is theoretically at the top of the transport mode hierarchy. London Living Streets has published an important discussion paper about how streets should be re-evaluated in the face of Covid. As the authors point out, the ideas reflected the situation in mid-April, and the situation will undoubtedly evolve. At national level Living Streets is suggesting that we contact councillors with suggestions for reallocating space for people on foot where social distancing is proving difficult.
The London Living Streets group has been working with Transport for London to introduce a programme of crossing retimings that will make it easier and safer to cross the street - one crossing on the priority list is in Palmers Green. A new Living Streets group launches in Wood Green on 24th March.
A photograph taken on 26th February shows pedestrians, including a mothers with a baby buggy, forced to walk in the road because the pavements outside KFC in Palmers Green were completely blocked by illegally parked cars.
Three central London boroughs are currently consulting on changes to their road networks that are designed to shift the favour somewhat away from car drivers and towards the interests of pedestrians and cyclists.