Calls for car-free street outside Birmingham primary school due to 'aggressive drivers'

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Since 2019, roads outside 20 schools in Birmingham have been closed to traffic at the start and end of the school day

Claims over aggressive drivers, reckless parking and an incident involving children almost being struck down on a zebra crossing have led to a 1,000-strong petition calling on the temporary closure of roads outside a school in Birmingham.

Parents of children at Kings Heath Primary School have joined forces with headteacher Mark Court to appeal to Birmingham City Council for the 650-pupil school to become the latest in the area to become car-free.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Since 2019, roads outside 20 schools in Birmingham have been closed to traffic at the start and end of the school day.  The scheme already includes three in Kings Heath: Colmore Junior & Infant School, St Dunstan’s Catholic School and Woodthorpe Junior & Infant School.

Parents now want to see Kings Heath Primary School added to the car-free streets list. Local mum Rachel Segal Hamilton, who has two children at the school, said of her petition: “As parents we are concerned about dangerous driving and air pollution around the school gates. The situation outside our school has become increasingly problematic, with thoughtless and sometimes aggressive drivers, including parents, parking cars across the roads, on pavements, blocking footways, idling engines, and driving recklessly. In a recent incident, someone reversed over the zebra crossings, almost hitting children on their way into class.

“This is completely unacceptable and we fear daily for our children’s safety. School staff have written on multiple occasions to parents to ask them to refrain from parking and stopping in the area but problems continue.

“In feedback from previous Birmingham car-free school streets, consistently over 70% of residents have said the pilot should continue and over 70% say that other schools would benefit. One parent said, ‘It’s the best decision ever to have been taken. It’s much safer for kids.’.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We believe the introduction of a car-free school street outside Kings Heath Primary School is an immediate priority to protect our children and our community.”

Car-free school streets are described as a pioneering initiative to transform the roads outside schools so that only people who are walking, wheeling and cycling can use them at school drop off and pick up times (for between 30 minutes and one hour).

Amongst those in support of the call for action, Katie Connolly said: “When the school’s lollipop man is being driven at aggressively by drivers every day, and children are nearly being hit by drivers trying to park outside the school, then it’s time for something to be done. Something has to change before a child is seriously hurt.”

Kings Heath Primary SchoolKings Heath Primary School
Kings Heath Primary School | Birmingham Mail/Darren Quinton

Local dad Paul Cooper said: “The situation has been escalating for years and it’s time we make changes to allow children and parents to get to school safely.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Simla Sutton added: “Despite the LTN (low traffic neighbourhood) measures, people still drive down and park irresponsibly in front of the school. It’s an accident waiting to happen.”

While Katherine White commented: “Exhaust fumes can cause permanent damage to lungs, especially to children, whose lungs are still growing.”

Birmingham City Council will now analyse the application for Kings Heath Primary School on Valentine Road to become a car-free street. If approved, the first six months of the project will serve as a formal consultation period. There would also be a formal public consultation before this scheme was made permanent.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.