Managing traffic flow on your school site

At many schools, parents and guardians are encouraged to get their children to walk, cycle or take the bus to school each day, but this isn't always possible and depends on a number of factors including: weather conditions, location, participation in extra-curricular activities, as well as whether the school is primary or secondary. Primary schools will generally have higher volumes of cars visiting the site before children can travel independently, so more consideration needs to be given to traffic flow if you are planning for a primary school.

Managing traffic flow on your school site is a crucial part of any perimeter security strategy, and a variety of features such as traffic calming measures can help with this. Before choosing a product think about:

  • Traffic volume and hours of use - is there a peak time for cars, i.e. immediately before and after school hours?
  • Speed limits - a general rule for schools is to keep all vehicles travelling below 5mph, and this should be indicated with signs.
  • Types of vehicles - are delivery trucks or buses coming into the school grounds?
  • Common products for managing traffic flow on a school site


    Bollards come in a range of options and materials including timber, stainless steel and galvanised steel with a powder coating. They can be static or can retract into the ground manually or automatically with a range of control devices. Static bollards are a cost effective way to provide demarcation and create separate areas for vehicles and pedestrians without restricting views or dominating the grounds. Automated bollards are ideal for restricting access between certain times - stopping vehicles entering the site during peak hours, or causing them to stop and ask for permission to enter. Be sure to read our advice on bollard spacing to ensure you comply with government guidelines and make your school inclusive for all.


    Pedestrian guardrails are another way of segregating pedestrians from vehicles and can also be used to stop or slow down bicycles when staggered along a pathway. Pedestrian guardrails should also be installed directly outside gates to prevent children from running straight out of the school and into the road.


    It is dependent on the size of the school, but many will have separate vehicle gates for visitors, deliveries and staff. If this number of gates is not possible, priority should be given to at least one separate pedestrian gate. It's important to ensure a barrier such as knee rail fencing, bollards or pedestrian guardrail continues between the two gates until a safe location for pedestrians has been reached, to avoid pedestrian and vehicular traffic merging once inside the gate. Where possible, a one way system should be adopted for vehicles to avoid collisions and congestion within the site as well as outside of the school. Systems should be clearly signposted to avoid confusion. Consider the use of automated gates or traffic arm barriers to control access to the site and slow down the progress of vehicles, but ensure that there is enough space for queues of vehicles to wait without blocking any public roads.

    Traffic calming measures

    These measures can be combined with other traffic calming measures such as speed bumps, surface treatments or sign enhancements.

    For advice on managing traffic flow on your school site, please contact us or call our sales team who will be happy to offer you advice or provide you with a product quote. Alternatively, you can read some of our related blogs below:

    Types of fencing commonly used in schools

    School access control: what to consider


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