Merton Council has secured funding to further ensure the safety of children during school hours.

The council announced 18 school streets will benefit from the scheme which aims to encourage walking and cycling across the borough.

School Streets also aim to tackle congestion and improve air quality at the school gates, making it safer and easier for children to travel to school.

Residents have since welcomed the announcement, with teachers and parents stating their children will be calmer when arriving to school.

The scheme plans to prevent cars from travelling on school streets during drop off and pick up times from September.

Under the scheme, vehicles will not be allowed to enter the street at these times unless they have been granted an exemption.

Wimbledon Times:

Councillor Martin Whelton, the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Housing and Transport, said: “As a council, we are delighted to have secured funding for schemes across Merton.

"We are now designing the proposals and actively engaging with schools and councillors prior to their introduction from September.

"We are also urging parents not to drive their children to school but alternatively look to walk and cycle as healthy and active travel choices.

"Youngsters are particularly vulnerable to pollution from the exhausts of cars and other vehicles.

“School Streets schemes are in line with our Active and Healthy Transport Response to Covid-19, which aims to secure long-term environmental and health benefits for residents."

Katie Meech, one of the founders of Merton Resident's Transport Group, said: "We are really encouraged — 18 School Streets in place by September is a good start.

"Because of Covid, School Streets are particularly important to allow social distancing — they prevent parents and children being crammed together on narrow pavements at drop-off and pick-up times.

"It’s only 390 hours in a whole year that cars can’t pass down the school street in question.

"We hope to see this rolled out across the borough for the sake of our children’s health."