A SCHEME which prevents motorists from driving near to primary schools at certain times of the day is being piloted at two locations in St Helens.

A public notice was released by the local authority announcing an order in relation to vehicles being prohibited from driving in either direction on a select list of roads when directed by traffic signs.

A St Helens Council spokesman has clarified that the measures are currently being piloted at two schools, Thatto Heath Primary school and St Mary & St
Thomas' Primary School on Barton Close, near to Asda in St Helens.

He added the move is part of the School Streets pilot, a nationwide initiative.

Purported benefits of the scheme include to clear school-related congestion from neighbourhoods; to help make the air fresher and cleaner; to give children the chance to get to school ‘actively’, which helps them stay healthy and to make roads safer for everyone.

Measures, which came into effect last week at the schools, are in force from 8am to 10am and 2pm to 4pm each weekday.

A spokesman added that, following the pilot, it is hoped the scheme will then be implemented across the borough's primary schools. 

The public notice had cited a reason for the order included "to facilitate the social distancing measures at the primary schools".

A council spokesman said this was also considered to be a beneficial factor but said the pilot scheme was planned to go ahead regardless of the coronavirus pandemic.

It is understood measures would be introduced in relation to social distancing and public health concerns only on an 'as and when needed' basis. 

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If implemented, the full list of primary school locations, along with the council ward in which they are situated, is below:

  • Barn Way, Newton
  • Barton Close, Town Centre
  • Brunswick Street, Parr
  • Cannon Street, Bold
  • Devon Street, West Park
  • Dunedin Street, Thatto Heath
  • Foundary Street, Earlestown
  • New Glade Hill, Blackbrook
  • Grange Road, Haydock
  • Heath Street, Thatto Heath
  • Heyes Avenue, Haydock
  • King Edward Road, Windle
  • Longton Lane, Rainhill
  • Lyme Street, Earlestown
  • Lyme Street, Haydock
  • Patterson Street, Earlestown
  • Rufford Road, Rainford
  • Sanderling Road, Newton
  • Tennis Street North, Windle