Parents in Hereford could be prevented from dropping off their children at school by car under radical plans to cut traffic in the city.

Part of the new draft city masterplan, the “School Streets” idea involves closing streets around schools to motor traffic at drop-off and pick-up times.

Already in use in Europe and some parts of the UK, such schemes “reduce road danger, make it safer for children to walk or cycle to school, and lower air pollution outside schools”, the new document from Herefordshire Council says.

This would be done by only letting through pedestrians, cyclists and permit-holding local drivers for 30-60 minute periods at the start and end of the school day.

It could be enforced using automatic number plate recognition systems. “Alternatively, volunteers from the school community, such as parents or teachers, can steward a vehicular traffic closure,” the masterplan suggests.


But it acknowledges that not all schools are suitable for School Streets, with those on busier main roads requiring “other traffic reduction measures”.

The council points out that in the 1970s, four-fifths of seven- and eight-year-old children in the UK were allowed to go to school on their own. Already by 1990, this had dropped to fewer than one in 10.


A Scottish study published in 2020 found schemes in UK towns and cities did not cause road safety issues elsewhere from displaced traffic, and that the closures were supported by most parents and residents.

The proposal is just one of a number of radical interventions the council proposes to cut traffic in the city and beyond, and to make transport more sustainable in the coming years.

However it is not yet set in stone, and like all the draft masterplan ideas the public will be given their say later this year.

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