10th July 2020
School Streets Closure Traffic Displacement Literature Review FINAL.pdf
This report sets out the findings of a review of the existing literature on the impact of school street closures designed to create safer spaces for walking, cycling or street play. The evidence from the literature was supplemented by a number of semi-structured telephone interviews with relevant officers responsible for local authority school street closure schemes.
The review focuses in particular on whether any traffic displacement brought about by schemes was associated with negative safety issues in surrounding streets.
The main findings are:
On the nature, scale and coverage of the evidence
We located 16 studies, all of which had not been peer reviewed although one was a Masters dissertation
The locations covered by the studies included Camden, Edinburgh, Solihull, Perth and Kinross, East Lothian, Croydon, Southampton, and the region of Flanders, Belgium.
On the motivators of the street closure schemes there is
Strong evidence that reported road casualties were not a motivator of the closure schemes
Strong evidence that local perceptions of danger and safety risk were the key motivators
Strong evidence that the key purpose or one of the key purposes of the schemes was to increase the number of children travelling actively to school.
On the impact of the schemes on active travel and vehicles levels and on local support there is
Medium strength evidence that in almost all cases the total number of motor vehicles across school closures and neighbouring streets reduces
Medium strength evidence that active travel levels increased at the schools with street closures
Medium strength evidence that closures are supported by the majority of parents and residents living on the closed and neighbouring streets and that their support increases after any trial period.
On the impact on neighbouring streets
Strong and consistent evidence that traffic displacement does not cause road safety issues of any significance and that mitigating measures, where needed, have been applied successfully
Medium strength evidence that perceived road safety on surrounding streets as well as the closure streets improves as active travel increases
Medium strength evidence that alternative parking schemes such as “Park and Stride” help reduce traffic displacement although a small number of badly parked vehicles can remain an issue.