SOMERSET Council is set to kickstart its new healthy school run initiative by closing roads outside schoosl during pick up and drop off times.

It comes as part of the unitary authority's School Streets initiative, which aims to reduce issues with parking and congestion around the school and encourage more sustainable travel such as walking, cycling or even scooting.

A total of five schools across the county will also take part in the 18-month trial, although only one of these is so far confirmed.

School Lane, outside Otterhampton Primary School near Bridgwater, will be closed from Monday, June 3, between 8:25am and 8:55am, and 2:55pm and 3:25pm Monday to Friday during term time as part of the initiative.

A spokesperson for Somerset Council said: "The traffic regulation order (TRO) is a legal requirement preventing motor vehicle access but has some exceptions, including but not limited to blue badge holders, emergency and public services."

If successful, the temporary road closures will become permanent. During the trial there will be a six-month consultation period for residents to give their thoughts and feedback.

Outside Otterhampton Primary, two volunteer stewards will be on hand to carry out the road closure with support of local PCSOs, and Avon and Somerset Police will be offering bike marking to help prevent bike theft on Tuesday, June 4 from 2pm until 4pm. 

Joe Bigwood, Head of behaviour Change and Engagement, Sustrans, England South said: “School Streets provide benefits for families travelling to school, local residents and the wider community. They help to tackle congestion, poor air quality and road safety concerns, building confidence in families to travel actively to school.

"School Streets are a powerful way of showing what’s possible when cars are removed outside a school.

"We are delighted to be working in partnership with SASP, helping to create a safer, greener environment for Otterhampton Primary and are excited to see how School Lane is transformed into a walking, wheeling and cycling safe haven for all to enjoy.”

Claire Luce, Executive Head Teacher OPS said: "I am so excited that Otterhampton Primary School is the first school in Somerset to get involved in the School Streets initiative.

"We are looking forward to working with our parents and the local community to make School Lane safer for our children.”