South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership
25 Jan 2024

Pupils at an academy in Sheffield have spoken of their delight at being the first secondary school in the city to have a School Street installed.

Astrea Academy Sheffield, in Burngreave, part of Astrea Academy Trust, had campaigned to improve road safety outside the school after a number of near misses at busy times.

As a result, Sheffield City Council designated the area as one of its new School Streets.

The initiative was designed to reduce the amount of traffic in an area, create safer school environments and a healthier atmosphere including cleaner air while helping pupils and parents adopt an active travel method to get to and from school.

Andover Street, which splits Astrea Academy Secondary and Primary Academy, is now closed to traffic between 8am and 9.15am and 2.30pm and 3.45pm Monday to Friday from the junction with Fox Street. The closure of the road will allow pupils and their parents to walk or cycle to school in as safer way as possible.

The installation of the School Street is part of a wider commitment by Astrea Academy Sheffield to encourage and enable active travel.

The school has set up a team of Active Travel Ambassadors with the help of ModeshiftSTARS. Students are working with staff to support the implementation of the School Street Initiative. Their role as active travel ambassadors is to encourage fellow scholars to be more active and to provide them with information of road safety.

Cllr Ben Miskell, Chair of the Transport, Regeneration and Climate Committee, said: “It’s fantastic to launch our latest School Street at Astrea Academy Sheffield. It’s the first secondary school to join the programme and hopefully the first of many more to come.

"Across the city we’ve worked hard to set up 12 School Streets in primary schools, as part of a hugely ambitious programme to improve road safety and encourage Active Travel in Sheffield. There are more School Streets in Sheffield than anywhere else in South Yorkshire and this is our first at a secondary school. It's great to see young people and families react so positively to the support that we're putting in place.

“Our aim has always been to keep children as safe as possible going to and coming home from school and this project does just that. It also has the added benefit of creating a healthier environment around the school at the start and end of the day, as we work hard to improve air quality across the city.

"We're looking forward to working with many more schools and communities over the coming years to bring the benefits of School Streets to even more neighbourhoods in Sheffield."

Introduced back in September 2021 by Sheffield City Council, the School Streets project was brought in to make it safer and easier for children to walk or cycle to and from their school during the busiest times of the day.

To date, 12 primary schools have had a School Street installed outside their main gate, including another Astrea Academy Trust school – nearby Byron Wood Primary.

Lorraine Yates, Assistant Principal at Astrea Academy Sheffield said: “The initiative will have a huge impact on our pupils, families and the wider community. We are already seeing the impact of fewer cars around the academy at key times of the day allowing scholars to travel to and from the academy safely.

“The number of near miss incidents with cars turning in the road and parking on double yellow lines meant that staff were having to direct traffic and stand in the road to ensure scholars could cross safely, this is now something we don’t have to do.”