Will Wiltshire Council take action on new primary school’s crossing?Claire Perry MP wants Wiltshire Council to take 'urgent action' on the traffic and parking issues at the new Marlborough St Mary's primary school.
After a visit to the school, she "agreed to ask Wiltshire Council to take urgent action to address this".
However, the signs are not good that 'urgent action' can be anticipated. When the school applied last year for safety measures on George Lane - the new pedestrian crossing point to access the Van Diemens school entrance is near the police station - they were told that the Council needed to wait two years to investigate '…traffic volumes and speeds and pedestrian movements…'
Very recently, the Area Board has logged the safety issue at the crossing (which is currently overseen in the mornings only by a 'crossing lady'.) But the Area Board note added: “It should be noted these features are not standard and there is no requirement on Wilts Council to install [temporary 20mph limits and flashing lights].”
The Area Board also states that all applications for such safety measures can only be made to Wiltshire Council's “Taking Action on School Journeys” process - which seems to be a sort of competitive system or lottery where the 'most need' wins money.
Now an additional snag has arisen. Marlborough.news understands that Wiltshire Council wants to restrict the number of parking permits for the George Lane car park that the school can give parents. These allow free parking for fifteen minutes either side of school start and close times - that's an hour a day.
A figure of forty permits has been mentioned. Before the combined St Mary's and St Peter's schools opened, 112 St Mary's Infant School parents used these permits. It is a scheme designed to keep cars from parking in Ducks Meadow.
It is not clear whether this move is to encourage more walking to school or is a financial measure. However, forcing more pedestrians onto a road which Councillor Fogg describes as “an accident waiting to happen” would appear - without appropriate warning lights, signs or even a proper lit and beaconed crossing - to be a risky and even dangerous decision.