School Streets Pilot Update

On Friday 20th November, Cameron Rose, Conservative Councillor for Southside/Newington, Edinburgh, posted information about the School Streets pilot on his blog which includes an update from City of Edinburgh Council’s Road Safety Manager:


“The school streets project is being taken forward as a pilot scheme for a maximum of 18 months; it is an innovative concept, the first of its kind on this scale in Scotland. It is being promoted under the statutory powers of an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO), which sets out the streets in each scheme, the operating days and times, and the groups which are exempt from the restrictions. These conditions cannot be changed during the life of the pilot, although the scheme is being monitored and evaluated at intervals throughout the 18 month duration, to inform and shape any possible future permanent schemes.

The Sciennes scheme is the only one in Phase 1 located on a through route. It was never the intention of the scheme to exclude all traffic from the streets; there are general exemptions including residents’ vehicles, blue badge holders, emergency vehicles, healthcare workers, such as doctors and nurses, and essential services, such as mail deliveries, gas, electricity and water. In order to reduce the impact on the daily running of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, there are additional exemptions for the Sciennes scheme. These include taxis and private hire vehicles accessing the front entrance and delivery vehicles specifically serving the hospital.

My team is working with the school and the Junior Road Safety Officers to look at conducting assemblies and classroom activities to remind pupils of the dangers posed by traffic and how to behave when entering and exiting the school on foot or by bike.

The Scottish Taxi Drivers’ Federation, Fleet Transport Association and Road Haulage Association were formally consulted about the scheme. We will contact them again clarifying how the restriction affects their members and requesting they send a reminder out.


Lothian and will be approved for use in any future schemes ensuring consistency across Scotland The “When lights flash” wording is used to remove the need to add the exact operating days and times, which would be impossible for drivers to read as they approach the sign.

In addition, we will shortly be erecting signs in advance of access routes to the area warning that “Livingstone Place and Sciennes Road between Sylvan Place and Tantallon Place are closed to traffic at the beginning and end of the school day”.

We hope that drivers’ awareness of the schemes will increase and drivers with destinations outwith the area will avoid it at the restricted times.

We are aware that the police cannot always be present to enforce the scheme. For the first few weeks of the scheme, they have been undertaking an educational role by stopping and speaking to drivers and explaining the new restrictions to them. Shortly they will begin issuing tickets to offenders who will face paying a £60 fine. We will be publicising this and are expecting it to have an effect on drivers currently flaunting the rules. This is in line with the other Phase 1 schools which started at the end of September, where compliance has improved since formal enforcement has commenced.”

The theme for this year’s Brake’s Road Safety Week is ‘Drive less, live more.’ Our School Streets pilot continues (see below).

Why School Streets?

City of Edinburgh Council is introducing ‘School Streets’ at a number of primary schools across Edinburgh, including Sciennes Primary School, for an initial period of eighteen months. These locations have been experiencing ongoing road safety issues caused by drivers bringing their vehicles too close to the school gate.

The benefits of introducing school streets are that:
    •    walking, cycling and active lifestyles for pupils and parents will increase 

    •    traffic speed, congestion and pollution around school gates will reduce 

    •    we are responding to a demand from parents and residents.

How will it operate? 

Vehicles will not be able to drive in, out or around the school streets when the scheme is in operation. Large signs will be at the entrance to the scheme and they will have flashing lights to indicate when the scheme is in operation. Only those with permits will be exempt from the closure. 

Which streets will be closed and at what times?
Streets affected:
Livingstone Place

Sciennes Road (between Sylvan Place and Tantallon Place)

8.35am to 9.00am and 2.40pm to 3.30pm Monday to Thurs
8.35am to 9.00am and 11.55am to 12.20pm Friday

I am a resident of a school street. Can I drive in and out of my street when the signs are flashing?

Yes – local residents living within the streets that are closed should apply for a permit that must be displayed on the car windscreen. Residents who live in the School Streets zone will receive a letter from the Council giving advice on how to apply and further information is also available on the Council website. If your household has more than one car you should apply for one for each car. Please note this only applies to those living at the address and not visitors.

What other road users are permitted in the street?
Disabled users displaying a blue badge will be permitted as well as emergency services and contract school transport dropping or picking up pupils from the school.

Who will enforce school streets?
The scheme will be enforced by Police Scotland. The penalty for ignoring the signs will be a fine.

Where can I find out more?
Please go to or email