Southport students launch Borough's first ever School Streets pilot

31 May 2023 4min read

Pupils at two schools in Southport will soon be the first in the Borough to trial a brand new active travel scheme.

The School Streets pilot, which encourages alternative and healthier ways of commuting, will launch in July at both Birkdale High School and Greenbank High School in Southport.

Pupil Inspired

It has been created in partnership with high school pupils, teachers, Sefton Council and Sustrans, the UK charity that helps more people walk, wheel and cycle.

As the scheme aims to reduce the number of car journeys and frustrating congestion an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order will see roads outside both schools closed off to most vehicles during the start and end of a school day.


Sefton Council will be writing to parents, guardians, residents and stakeholders in the coming weeks to confirm the launch of the pilot scheme on Windy Harbour Road and Hastings Road.

The School Streets pilot is being rolled out following detailed discussions and thorough consultation with pupils, staff and parents at both Greenbank & Birkdale High School, as well as residents living nearby.

Making roads and streets safer  

Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council's Cabinet Member for Locality Services welcomed the pilot test scheme, saying: "We are trialling the implementation of two Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders, which would see both Windy Harbour Road and Hastings Road closed to most vehicles at the start and end of the school day during term time. 

“Exemption Permits will be issued to residents, school staff & blue badge holders, staff and visitors of Hillside Golf Club.

"Sefton Council has declared a Climate Emergency, and as a Borough we all have a responsibility to tackle some of the greatest challenges such as poor air quality, sedentary physical behaviour, petrol poverty and the cost of living crisis.  

“Tackling the journey to school by making roads and streets safer and more inviting to walk and cycle will allow more pupils to explore their journey to school in other ways.  

“Creating a safe space directly outside the front of the school is the first step in the challenge to encourage a wider uptake in the levels of walking and cycling journeys.”

Walking, Cycling & Driving

Cllr Fairclough went on to say that while the scheme actively encourages pupils to walk, cycle or take public transport to and from school, there is a recognition that some families may still need to use a car.

He added: “We know that some pupils may still need to be dropped off and picked up in a car so we would strongly recommend parking at the very least 5 minutes walking distance away from school to start and finish each day in a in a healthy way, so walking becomes part of a daily journey.

“It has been an immensely positive experience to see the pupils finding their voice and coming up with solutions like the School Streets pilot that will have a positive impact on the environment around where they study.

“Not only is this better for the environment but will add to pupil safety too. We encourage everyone to support the pilot and help make our communities brighter, healthier and better places to live.”


Emily Cave, Sustrans’ school streets officer for Sefton said: “I’m very excited to be working in partnership with the council, in Birkdale and Greenbank High Schools on this project.

"We’re working to create a safer, healthier environment for children to walk, wheel or cycle their school commute. Through this project, we will encourage students to be more confident in changing their travel habits with interactive workshops, which we hope will promote independent travel and reduce their reliance on being dropped off and picked up. 


Officers from Sefton Council and Sustrans will also be holding open afternoons outside school gates to answer any questions or address concerns.

The project team will be available from 3pm-6pm outside Greenbank High on Wednesday 7th June and from 3pm-6pm outside Birkdale High on Thursday 8th June.

You can use this link to find out more information about the Schools Streets pilot.

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