PARENTS have praised new road closures outside schools – despite a volunteer nearly getting run over on the first day.

Streets across Brighton and Hove are being shut for periods in the morning and afternoon to allow children a safer route to the school gates.

There are 14 schools in Brighton and Hove which have signed up for the School Streets scheme, however many are yet to start closing their roads.

The scheme at West Hove Infants in Connaught Road began yesterday, with council officers and volunteers from cycling charity Sustrans setting up barriers and keeping an eye on traffic.

Parents walked and cycled through the barriers at the junction with Sackville Road.

Some traffic was permitted to enter the road – such as residents – but had to be led by a volunteer “at walking pace”.

However, one volunteer was nearly run over after a car went past her to reach a garage in the road.

The garage’s owner Richard Jelf said it was not a staff member and that he would be buying the woman, who was from Sustrans, some flowers to apologise.

Despite this mishap, the scheme proved popular with most parents, who said they felt much safer at the school gates.

Ben Speed, 42, jogged along the road outside West Hove Infants with his son, Kit, two, who rode on his scooter.

The father said: “The road closures are a really good idea. We have just moved from Peckham in London and one of the big reasons we moved here is because of the air pollution so we totally support the scheme.”

Other parents praised the scheme but had concerns about replacing the car with another mode of transport.

Parents Hasan and Georgia Christou-Dixon travelled on the bus to drop off son Louis, six, for his first day at the school.

Hasan said: “It feels really nice and safe here. We are thinking about where we would park if we had to use a car and how expensive public transport would be.

“It cost us £10 to come in today for all three of us, that’s £50 a week.

“Louis’s previous primary was quite hectic and it did feel a bit dangerous. However, this does feel much safer.”

School staff echoed the praise for the scheme from parents.

Teaching assistant Chris Wildman spoke to The Argus as he locked up his bicycle.

He said: “I normally cycle into the school with parking being like it is.

“The School Streets programme is great, particularly in this location.

“It’s great to encourage more walking to school. I think it would be nicer to have the roads in the city safer, particularly for children.”

Members of Sustrans helped to manage some of the road closures.

Helen Kellar, delivery co-

ordinator for the South East, helped out at Connaught Road.

She said: “With Covid, the government has encouraged schools to close the streets in front of the school gates to help with safe arrival.

“In Brighton, the council has been bold and 14 schools are part of the scheme.”

Many of the schools which had signed up to the scheme did not close their roads yesterday.

West Hove Infant School’s other site and Hove Junior School, both in Portland Road, will not be closing their roads until next week.

A worker at the school said the decision was made on Friday as works are taking place in the road.

There was confusion in Port Hall Avenue outside Stanford Infants School, where a road closure was due to take place, between 8.30am and 9am.

Cars continued to use the road throughout, with a member of staff outside the school gates saying the road had not been closed. They said they had not been given any further information since the announcement of the closures.

A parent said it would have been nice to have fewer cars. She said: “We walk here so it’s nice to have fewer cars in the street, but equally I don’t have to drive so it (the proposed road closure) doesn’t really affect me.”

The schools included are:

Downs Infant School in Ditchling Place, Brighton. Florence Place will be closed.

At Stanford Junior School in Stanford Road, there were barriers in place to give parents and pupils an area of the road to queue in. The rest of the road remained open.

Stanford Infants in Highcroft Villas, Brighton. Port Hall Avenue from Port Hall Road to Port Hall Place will be closed.

West Hove Infants in Portland Road, Hove. School Road from Portland Road to Marmion Road will be closed.

West Hove Infants in Connaught Annexe, Hove. Connaught Road from Sackville Junction will be closed.

Brunswick Primary in Somerhill Road, Hove. Somerhill Road from Somerhill Avenue to Lansdowne Road will be closed.

Carden Primary School in County Oak Avenue, Brighton. County Oak Avenue from Denton Drive to Carden Parade will be closed.

Fairlight Primary School in St Leonards Road, Brighton. Hastings Road, north of St Leonards Road, will be closed.

Moulsecoomb Primary School in Lewes Road, Brighton. Hodshrove Lane, west of the children’s centre, will be closed.

St Luke’s Primary in Queen’s Park Rise, Brighton. Queen’s Park Rise between St Luke’s Terrace and Queen’s Park Terrace will be closed.

St Margaret’s CE Primary School in Whiteway Lane, Rottingdean. Whiteway Lane will be closed.

St Nicolas CE Primary School in Locks Hill, Portslade. Highlands Road, west of Park Close, will be closed.

Saltdean Primary in Chiltington Way, Saltdean. School Lane, north of the car park, will be closed.

Downs Junior School in Rugby Road, Brighton. Grantham Road between Ditchling Road and Edburton Avenue will be closed.

Hove Junior School in Portland Road, Hove. School Road from Portland Road to Marmion Road will be closed.

Operating times will depend on the school but will be about 30 to 60 minutes in the morning and 30 to 60 minutes in the afternoon.