A ROAD outside a Hoyland primary school was closed yesterday to encourage families to leave their car at home.

Shaftesbury Avenue, outside Springwood Primary, was closed from 7.30am until 4.30pm to mark the launch of ‘School Streets’.

It’s hoped that the project will improve road safety and reduce harmful air pollution from cars.

Funding from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) will allow nine more road closures outside schools across the borough - changes in air quality will be monitored at these events.

Coun Jim Andrews, cabinet spokesperson for public health, said, “We are faced with school streets across Barnsley that are dangerous, stressful and unpleasant places to be during drop-off and pick-up times.

“By closing the road to all but essential traffic through the School Streets programme, we can host activities for children and demonstrate that streets can be enjoyable places for children and families to live, work, learn and play together.

“Travelling to school by alternative means like walking, biking or scootering has benefits for physical and mental health, can leave children feeling energised as they start their school day and allows families to spend more time together.”

Hoyland Springwood headteacher, Jennifer Hunt, added: “We’re really keen on improving the health and wellbeing of our pupils, whilst improving access for residents.

“We are constantly going the extra mile, and we know that the journey to school is an important part of the school day.

“Not only do we want pupils, parents and staff to arrive at school safely, but we also want to encourage them to travel in a way that keeps them fit, active and healthy while improving air quality for all.”