Agenda item

TRANSPORT MATTERS

(a)      To consider the below motion proposed by Councillor C Palmer and seconded by Councillor G Perham:

 

To request Central Bedfordshire, in view of the concerns of parents and residents alike because of

1 the large number of cars parking as part of the school run in the vicinity of, and at some distance in side roads from Southcott and Greenleas (Derwent Road) Lower Schools

2 the parking of many cars inappropriately and blocking pavements/service strips at the side of the road, and

3 the difficulties faced by parents and children often having to walk around cars and in the road

To undertake a detailed study of the safety of parents and children walking to and from these schools and propose/undertake any appropriate measures to encourage and improve the safety of the walking experience.

 

(b)      To consider any other matters relating to highways/transport (if appropriate).

 

Minutes:

(a)       The Committee received and considered a motion submitted by Councillor Palmer and Perham:  To request Central Bedfordshire, in view of the concerns of parents and residents alike because of -

 

1. the large number of cars parking as part of the school run in the vicinity of and (at some distance) in side roads from Southcott and Greenleas (Derwent Road) Lower Schools

2. the parking of many cars inappropriately and blocking pavements/service strips at the side of the road, and

3. the difficulties faced by parents and children often having to walk around cars and in the road.

 

To undertake a detailed study of the safety of parents and children walking to and from these schools and propose/undertake any appropriate measures to encourage and improve the safety of the walking experience.

 

It was noted that the “service strips” on Bideford Green were significantly narrower than a footpath and this caused difficulties for pedestrians, particularly when pushing prams or pushchairs and also particularly when cars parked across the entire width of the service strip. Unlike in the past when most children walked to their closest catchment area school, more children were now driven to school than walked.  This meant that inconsiderate and dangerous car parking was an ever-increasing issue in the local area. Road markings were largely ignored and not enforced.

 

It was suggested that school travel plans be reviewed to encourage more innovative and incentivised schemes to persuade families to walk to school and also that parent views would be needed by way of consultation if the hope was to change driver behaviour.

 

RESOLVED: To request Central Bedfordshire, in view of the concerns of parents and residents alike because of

 

1) the large number of cars parking as part of the school run in the vicinity of, and at some distance in side roads from Southcott and Greenleas (Derwent Road) Lower Schools

2) the parking of many cars inappropriately and blocking pavements/service strips at the side of the road, and

3) the difficulties faced by parents and children often having to walk around cars and in the road

 

to undertake a detailed study of the safety of parents and children walking to and from these schools, to encourage the support and review of school travel plans and to propose/undertake any appropriate measures, after consultation, to encourage and improve the safety of the walking experience.

 

(b)       The Committee was advised of correspondence received from a resident raising concerns about traffic flow in and out of the retail park at Grovebury Road, particularly when vehicles were trying to turn right on exit. Councillor Owen advised he had also had correspondence with residents on the same subject and that possible measures had been suggested by some people.

It was felt that drivers becoming impatient with waiting to exit the retail park could be more likely to take risks which would be dangerous. It was noted that encouraging walking and cycling to the park was a focus for the local authority and also noted that a further pedestrian crossing might slow the traffic and aid vehicle entry/exit to the site as well as facilitating pedestrian access. It was suggested that implementing a “no right turn on exit” rule might free up traffic movement and that drivers could easily turn around at the bypass roundabout.

 

RESOLVED to request the Town Clerk to write to Central Bedfordshire Council to:

(i)         raise concerns regarding safety and to seek an opportunity to  discuss possible solutions further

(ii)        ask for consideration of a no right turn on exit rule as a short term measure to improve traffic flow.

 

In addition to the concerns on entry/exit, it was noted that many vehicles failed to follow the preferred route in the car park and concerns regarding safety were expressed.

RESOLVED to request the Town Clerk write to the owners of the retail park to raise concerns regarding safety and traffic flow, within the car park as well as on entry/exit.