The London borough of Merton is home to the highest proportion of schools on school streets, new figures revealed.

The news comes after a report revealed the number of "school streets" in London has increased almost five times since the start of the pandemic.

In the capital, there are now a total of 383 streets where through-traffic is banned during the school's morning drop off and afternoon pick up. 

This compares with 81 school streets in April, according to research by Mums for Lungs and the Healthy Streets Scorecard (HSS).

Wimbledon Times:

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

Residents who live on the roads will be allowed access, as will teachers and those with special needs children who need to be driven to school.

Merton currently has 28 school streets in operation, including the 25 introduced as trials for the Autumn term.

Research by HSS and Mums for Lungs shows:

- Merton is the borough with the highest proportion of schools on school streets (40.3%), followed by Islington (40%) and Hackney (35.5%).

- Hackney, with 39 School Streets implemented in total, has the most of any London borough and indeed any local authority in the UK.

- Only 24 secondary schools in London have School Streets, representing 3.6% of the capital’s secondaries. Only five more are currently planned.

- Merton had the biggest increase in schools with School Streets (a rise of 36.4%) since the 2020 Healthy Streets Scorecard results (from 3.9% in April to 40.3% of schools in October).

- When taking into account planned School Streets, as well as those already installed, the boroughs with the highest proportion of schools on School Streets would be Islington (54.7%), Hackney (45.5%) and Merton (41.7%).

Wimbledon Times:

Councillor Martin Whelton, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Housing and Transport, said: "I’m delighted that Merton Council now has the highest proportion of operating school streets in London.

"Implementing School Streets across the borough is a vital part of our work to make the environment outside our schools safer and improve air quality.

"Thank you to mums for lungs for all the research and hard work that has gone into producing this report."

Jemima Hartshorn, founder, Mums for Lungs, said: “It’s brilliant to see so many School Streets springing up across London at such speed.

"This is what we’ve been campaigning for as part of a package of measures to protect children’s health.

"We want them to be rapidly rolled out to every school in London, including secondaries, on a permanent basis, wherever possible.

"No child should have to inhale harmful toxic air or be exposed to road danger at the school gates.”