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School run action plan targets 10 priority schools

Published on Friday, January 13, 2017

PLANS to address the ongoing issues around road safety, speeding, congestion and parking at 10 Leicester schools are being drawn up by the city council.

As part of its £2.2million Parking Improvement Action Plan, the council is working with each of the prioritised schools to come up with a package of measures that will tackle problems such as inconsiderate or dangerous parking – and that will also encourage more children to walk or cycle to school.

Ideas being explored include the installation of bollards or railings to prevent pavement parking, and the introduction of 20mph advisory signs in areas where formal 20mph zones aren’t planned, or won’t be in place for some time.

Behavioural change will also be required, with ‘walking bus’ and ‘park & stride’ schemes helping to reduce the number of cars on the road, while increasing children’s activity levels.

Proposals for physical and behavioural changes will be backed up by a more rigorous approach to enforcement, with more enforcement officers available to ticket parking offenders and with cameras used to enforce ‘keep clear’ markings outside schools.

A progress report will be presented to members of the transport scrutiny commission next week.

Assistant city mayor for neighbourhood services, Cllr Kirk Master, said: “We’re determined to address the issues associated with the school run, with an action plan that will develop a tailored programme of works for each school.

“We’re now working closely with the schools to look at the physical changes that need to take place outside their premises to prevent the inconsiderate and dangerous parking that can put lives at risk.

“But we also want to see a shift in behaviour, with more children and young people choosing to walk or cycle to school, resulting in less congestion in the streets around our schools.

“We’re exploring a range of ideas, so the views and suggestions of the scrutiny commission will be very welcome in the preparation of this action plan.”

Soar Valley College on Gleneagles Avenue is one of the 10 local schools that has been prioritised for action.

Council engineers are now developing proposals with the school principal, discussing ideas such as additional guard railings, new reflective ‘school’ signs, new bollards and new ‘keep clear’ markings on Gleneagles Avenue. Work is also under way to identify sites for ‘park & stride’ facilities, where students could be dropped off and picked up in safe areas.

The other nine schools prioritised for the school run action plan are: Crown Hills Community College; Beaumont Leys School; Coleman Primary; Rushey Mead Academy; Christ the King Infant & Junior; Mellor Primary; Leicester Islamic Academy; Mayflower Primary; Overdale Infant & Junior.

Factors such as school size, incident records, and existing traffic calming measures were taken into account to create the priority list.

Initial work will focus on the schools on the priority list, but the intention is to roll out the scheme to all city schools over the next three years.

Members of the city council’s Economic Development Transport and Tourism Scrutiny Commission will be updated on progress next Thursday (19 January).