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Road Safety Issues – Shifnal Primary School – Curriers Lane
I am one of several parents concerned about both the lack of traffic calming measures and total disregard by drivers, for both pupils and parents walking to school along Barn Road and Curriers Lane. On countless occasions over the past 18 months, otherwise safe routes to school have become critically congested by;
• Double-parked vehicles along Barn Road.
• Obstructed footpaths and illegal parking along Barn Road, Curriers Lane & Botfield Drive.
and equally as dangerous & frustrating to other road users;
• The parking of vehicles on the yellow zigzag “School – Keep Clear” markings outside the main entrance.
As a result of the above congestion during the morning and afternoon school runs, vehicles transiting Curriers Lane from Stanton Road and Broadway, appear to be travelling in excess of the permitted 30mph and when negotiating parked vehicles on the corner outside the school gates, have to quickly tuck into the school entrance to avoid on-coming traffic (usually an Arriva or school contract coach, Heavy Goods Vehicle and several cars), before engaging warp drive to pass a line of 20+ vehicles parked opposite the park.
Whilst I and other appreciate there are limitations to what the Town Council and school can and cannot do, I would like Counsellors to familiarise themselves with the general geographical location and road layout;
a. Bollards are positioned along the footpath, at opposing intervals around the corners of Barn Road and on one side of Curriers Lane (opposite the school entrance). They are approximately 18 inches from the curb, yet provide no physical barrier against pedestrians or vehicles passing between (or mounting and transiting the footpaths from either direction).
As has been previously reported to West Mercia Police, the Head Master and Mayor of Shifnal; Miss Shelly Durney and her 5 year old son who live a short distance away from the school, narrowly avoided serious injury in November 2010, when a black BMW 4x4 Land Cruiser transited the footpath between the bollard and hedge of No.2 Barn Road, to drop off its passengers. Miss Durney was forced to push her son out of the way into the hedge and narrowly missed the vehicle herself, yet following the incident, the driver showed no remorse and angrily shouted she “was late and there was nowhere else to park”.
b. The Highway Code states yellow zigzag “School – Keep Clear” markings mean the area “must be kept clear of all stationary vehicles, even if picking up or setting down children”, yet despite the best efforts of the Police and Community Support Officers, owners of vehicles parked in this area are beyond prosecution because of a legal technicality … there are (apparently) no enforcement notices erected at either side of the markings.
c. With the exception of the standard (lamppost fixed) pictorial school signs, approximately 130 yards from the school entrance in either direction along Curriers Lane, there are no other warning signs or traffic calming measures in place.
Having witnessed 47 “near hits” between February & June 2010, I firmly believe the likelihood of a serious Road Traffic Incident occurring (whether contributed to by speed, restricted visibility as a result of congestion, inattentive pupils or weather conditions), is increasingly high and I therefore urge Council members to seriously consider, cost effective methods of calming traffic around the school, to safeguard the safety, welfare and well-being of the school pupils, parents, residents and other road users to achieve safer routes to school.