Barlow Hall Primary School And Our Streets Chorlton – Working Together For Greener School Streets
Jo Phillips from Sustrans working with children in a school in Manchester

Just imagine Chorlton with cleaner air, fewer cars on the road and safer streets for children to walk and cycle to school! 

In this corner of South Manchester residents are getting together to cut vehicle carbon emissions through a whole range of community led activities, as part of the ‘Our Streets Chorlton’ project, funded by the National Lottery Climate Action Fund. 


I am Jo Phillips, Senior Urban Designer with Sustrans, the active travel charity. Sustrans is one of the partners in this work and we’re supporting active travel at Barlow Hall Primary by working on one of three mini-projects. 

This school sits in the middle of the Merseybank estate, which is quite a peaceful residential area with the problem of rat-running past the school gate to avoid main road rush-hour queues. School traffic adds to the problems here, so children arrive at school in less-than-ideal circumstances whether on foot or on bike, scooter or other active form of transport. 

 The Story So Far…

Our first observations at the school gates suggest that pavement parking, idling engines, and stopping on the zig zag markings are all making the street less safe for children here.

Working with the head teacher, staff and parents, we are planning for an ‘Our Streets Week’ in June, to promote and support active travel.

We’ll be linking up our activities, which include two school street trials days running consecutively, with actions happening across some of the other schools in the Chorlton area through Our Streets Chorlton’s School Champions Network! 

During home-schooling children have had Sustrans video lessons about climate change, air pollution and healthy travel choices. 

Next, we are finding out more about parent and staff perceptions around journeys to school, through an online Commonplace survey which is now live and you can find it here

We’re asking that people fill this in before the 31st of May to help us capture as many voices as possible across the school community. We will share the results back with you as part of the project work. 

In the run up to Our Streets Week, years five and six will do our Big Street Survey, to help them look closely at travel issues relevant to them. They will create a manifesto for better school streets with us. 

This will be followed up by street design workshops in June to find out what solutions they think might be suitable for Barlow Hall in the future. We can’t wait to see what children think is possible for outside their school area.

In June, we will close the street outside the school at drop off and pick up times on two days during this celebratory week, to allow children to come and go without having to consider traffic. Further fun will be planned in school, as and when Covid restrictions allow. 

If you are a resident near Barlow Hall School, we will be contacting you with more details soon, but if you would like to get in touch with me with any questions or suggestions, please get in touch with the project team.

Get In Touch

Drop us an email to to speak about any ideas or any issues you would like us to note.