Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

School streets

School streets logo showing children walking, cycling, scooting and wheeling to schoolAyrshire Roads Alliance successfully bid for Spaces for People funding from Sustrans which allows temporary measures to be put in place to make it easier for people who are walking and wheeling to socially distance during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

As part of this funding, we looked at making the streets surrounding schools safer to walk, cycle or scoot in. In total, 13 schools were proposed and after public engagement sessions on the Spaces for People East Ayrshire website and consultation with head teachers and parent councils, the following schools have been selected as trial locations:

  • Catrine Primary School
  • St Sophia’s Primary School (Galston)

Download the plans for more details:

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

A School Street is a part time restriction on driving motor vehicles on roads around a school.

We propose that access would be restricted at school start and finish times Monday to Friday at the following times:

  • Catrine Primary School - 8.45am–9.30am and 2.30pm–3.20pm 
  • St Sophia's Primary School - 8.30am-9.15am and 2.30pm-3.15pm

The restriction allows access during the periods of operation for the following only:

  • Permit holders
  • Blue badge holders
  • School transport vehicles (buses and contracted taxis)
  • Exempt vehicles( see exemptions in FAQ below)

The scheme aims to substantially reduce vehicular traffic in these streets to a point where pedestrian traffic and cyclists take priority and people, especially children, feel safer on the streets around schools.

Starting your school day by a walk or a short cycle ride is better than having to digest your cornflakes sitting in the back of a car. There is evidence of a link between more physical activity and an increase in academic achievement.

Early years aged children can easily walk half a mile, increasing to at least one and a half miles in primary school.

Scooters fit easily in the boot of a car so you can park and scoot if you prefer. Travelling this way to and from school allows you to teach your children valuable road safety skills (Green Cross Code), play games like I Spy and talk about their school day.

The start date is subject to a lifting of COVID-19 restrictions that permit schools to fully reopen.

The exact start dates will be agreed in conjunction with each school and will be advised to affected residents by letter, promotional materials on site and to parents via school communication channels.

Yes. The following are exempt from the restrictions:

  • Blue badge holders
  • Doctors
  • Emergency service vehicles (including NHS carers)
  • Permit holders
  • Postal vehicles
  • Refuse vehicles
  • School transport vehicles (including contracted taxis)
  • Utility vehicles (for example, Scottish Water)

Permit holders are residents living within the affected streets.

Download the plans for more details:

These residents will automatically receive two free permits which they will be required to display in their vehicle windscreen whenever they drive through the restricted areas. Parents or carers dropping children at school will not be eligible for a permit.

Residents of the affected streets will automatically receive a permit which they will be required to display in their vehicle windscreen whenever they drive through the restricted areas.

Parents or carers dropping children at school will not be eligible for a permit. 

No. Residents of the affected streets will automatically receive a permit. Key workers such as carers will be exempt as will blue badge holders.

Deliveries will need to be arranged out with the times of the restriction.

Other visitors will need to park away from the affected street and walk to the school.

District nurses, NHS carers and similar support workers will be exempt from the restrictions and will not require a permit.

The restrictions are in place to support safer movement for the most vulnerable road users and so if it is possible to schedule visits around the restricted periods, we would ask that you try to do so.

Blue badge holders are exempt from the restriction and will not require a permit. Please display your blue badge in your windscreen when driving in the affected streets.

The restrictions are in place to support safer movement for the most vulnerable road users and so if it is possible to schedule visits around the restricted periods, we would ask that you try to do so. 

If you are a regular visitor during the restricted times (ie for caring responsibilities) and need to drive directly to the property for this purpose, the resident may choose to allocate one of their permits to you for the duration of the trial. 

Otherwise, if visiting within the restricted times, visitors will need to park away from the affected street and walk to the property.

Exemptions are in place for blue badge holders. See the full list of exemptions.

If you do not have a blue badge we would ask you consider walking, cycling or scooting from home.

If you are unable to do this you will need to park outside of the School Street restricted area and complete the last part of the journey on foot, bike or scooter. Download the plans for more details on the restricted areas:

If choosing to park and stride, scoot or bike we would ask that you park considerately, thinking about the access needs of local residents.

You may choose to drive into the School Street area and park before the start of the restricted period. However, if you do so, you are not permitted to leave the restricted area until the restrictions end (unless you are a permit holder, or have a valid blue badge – see exemptions)

The playground is supervised from 15 minutes before the first bell.

If you aren’t able to change the times of your other commitments (work, childcare, other school runs) then consider if dropping your children at school during this supervised period, will give you the extra time you need to stay on schedule.

School Streets will remain in place in all weather conditions. Wet weather days tend to be when the streets around schools become busiest with traffic and visibility is reduced from rain on the windscreen and spray on the roads. The fewer vehicles around the school on poor weather days the safer it is for families walking or wheeling.

We appreciate concerns around arriving at school wet. Umbrellas, wellies and waterproofs are all useful to have and you could carry a change of shoes for your child to put on when they arrive at school.

The restrictions will be highlighted by planters on the carriageway at each entrance to the school street area. The location of the planters has been planned to restrict access and slow vehicles down, but will still enable access by bin lorries, delivery vehicles and school buses.

The planters will initially be provided with a range of seasonal plants, and we hope that the community and school will take ownership of these features as an important part of the street scape and look after them.   

We will also need to display traffic signs that show the legally enforceable prohibition of motor vehicles at each entrance to and exit from the school streets area.

We are also considering using a coloured surface treatment at each entrance, but this will depend on how long the trials are likely to last.

The police have powers to enforce the new restrictions. Anyone caught driving through the restricted zones whilst the restriction is in force without a valid permit or exemption can be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice.

The scheme will only operate from Monday to Friday during school term time and will not be enforced when the school is closed, for example weekends, bank holidays or in-service days.

The initial trial period is four weeks, with the option to extend to 12 weeks (or the rest of the term - whichever is more appropriate). Monitoring of the scheme would be undertaken in week three. 

The monitoring will be undertaken in week three of the four week trial period. This will enable people to get used to the changes before giving their feedback. 

We have already undertaken 'before' surveys to gauge the current volume and speed of vehicular traffic and the numbers and behaviours of pedestrians and cyclists. We will repeat these surveys in week three of the trial, and compare the two data sets.

We will send a questionnaire to all directly affected residents by post to collect their views and circulate this same questionnaire to all parents via school communication channels. The questionnaire will be available on this website to ensure that we can also get feedback from the wider community.

No. The scheme has been designed by professional design engineers in conjunction with Sustrans. School Streets, whilst a relatively new concept, have been implemented around the UK and there is building evidence about the positive benefits associated with them.

We would remove the restriction at the end of the four week period if this was the overwhelming response from the community, but we hope that this will not be necessary.

This is one possible outcome, but would be dependent on the results of the monitoring and would also be subject to statutory consultation.

We are not able to agree to undertake any other trials until we have completed these ones. 

Letters were posted to all residential addresses identified as being within the affected streets on Wednesday 10 February 2021 addressed to The Owner/Occupier.

If your letter hasn't arrived by Monday 15 February 2021 please email us at enquiries@ayrshireroadsalliance.org putting 'School Streets resident letter' in the subject of your email and confirming your postal address.

Find out more

For more information on the School Streets concept visit the School Streets website.

Walk, cycle or scoot to school

The Sustrans website has useful top tips on walking, cycling or scooting to school:

Contact Information


Ayrshire Roads Alliance
Opera House
8 John Finnie Street
Kilmarnock
KA1 1DD
Telephone: 01563 503160