Campaigning parents formed a “human bollard” outside a primary school in a protest against "selfish" drivers putting children at risk.

The parents, supported by Islington Clean Air parents, gathered outside Gower Primary School in Cynthia Street last week to stop cars from flouting traffic enforcement rules.

There are 35 schools in Islington that have implemented the school street scheme, which involves closing off a road to a school for most vehicles at pick-up and drop-off times.

However the group found drivers were turning from Pentonville Road into Cynthia Street during operating hours. The group demonstrated to ensure enforcement at this end of the street.

Islington Gazette: Islington Clean Air ParentsIslington Clean Air Parents (Image: Islington Clean Air Parents)

Rachael Swynnerton, a concerned parent and the Islington Clean Air Parents co-ordinator, said: “We just want to make sure our children are safe outside their school.

“The council have been brilliant at rolling out school streets but unless they are enforced properly then we’re at the mercy of drivers who selfishly choose to ignore signs and put our children’s health at risk.

“There should be a school street at all primary and secondary schools.”

Enforcement outside The Gower School began in September and drivers breaking the rules are issued a penalty charge notice (PCN), according to Islington Council.

Demonstrators believe this is not being enforced.

Islington Council says that it has been working with schools to make further environmental improvements.

Cllr Rowena Champion, executive member for environment, air quality and transport, said: “We’re committed to making Islington’s streets more people-friendly, to help create a cleaner, greener, healthier borough where all can travel safely and easily. 

“We have introduced 35 school streets as well as seven people-friendly streets neighbourhoods and 20mph roads, which all make it easier for people to walk, wheel and cycle, and for local people to make healthier choices that are more environmentally friendly.”

The councillor acknowledged that “there is more to be done” in improving healthier streets in the area.

More than 100 grassroot groups across Europe took part in protests on Friday, October 21, as part of the Clean Cities Campaign, which called for local leaders to enforce similar measures on major roads.