Call for crossing in Studham as school is urged to update its travel plan

An updated travel plan needs to be produced for a Bedfordshire school which is calling for an improved crossing outside the premises, it has been claimed.

The most recent such plan for Studham Church of England School dates back to 2009, Central Bedfordshire Council’s traffic management meeting heard.

Studham School. Photo:Google

Studham School. Photo:Google

The local authority’s executive is encouraging schools to review travel plans to encourage sustainable ways for pupils to travel to and from the premises.

“We received a request from Studham Parish Council, which originally came from the school, to improve crossing provision in Church Road,” said the council’s area technician highways Charlotte Dunham.

“There is currently no formal crossing point outside the school, in School Lane, for the children.

“We asked road engineers to review the location and come up with a proposal that would improve the situation for children accessing the school.

“The proposal was to install some dropped kerbs and a grass mesh footway from the bus stop in Church Road to the corner of School Lane.

“There are a number of restraints around the school. There was an issue with parked cars in Church Road,” she explained.

“We then drew up proposals for double yellow lines on both sides which would make sure people could cross without the obscured visibility.

“As part of the consultation process we received representations from residents and the parish council objecting to the ‘no waiting’ at any time.

“A number of objections were received. The parish council aren’t in favour of the double yellow lines, which would assist the crossing, but are in support of the crossing itself.”

Bob Wilkin, who chairs Studham Parish Council, said: “We received the original proposition around November before consulting residents and parents.

“The local view represented to CBC was opposed to the introduction of any yellow lines.

“The period of the problem is only one hour per day for school days and there is a need for local residents to park in the area where the yellow lines were proposed on a regular basis throughout the day.

“So it is a bit of a sledgehammer to crack a nut was the parish council view,” he added.

“There are no yellow lines in Studham and the introduction of any is contrary to a general view in the parish that it would give a feel of urbanisation to what is a very rural village, so we wouldn’t wish to see those.

“It is also next door to the common which is a particularly place of interest to the village and there’s a desire to see it protected.

“We have come up with a practical solution. We should place a mirror to enable people to view up Church Road to see whether there was any traffic from coming in either direction.

“We have obtained the permission of the two residents next to that for a mirror to be located on their land.

“We welcome the opportunity to consult further on that with the council.”

Conservative Arlesey councillor Ian Dalgarno said: “We do understand the objections to the yellow lines.

“In terms of placing a mirror off the highway, as long as it’s not on highway land, we wouldn’t stop you doing that.

“What I am concerned about is the school’s travel plan.

“It’s dated 2009 and based on a ‘hands up who walks to school, who comes to school by car?’ and so on.

“Those children who put their hands up in 2009 are now at university or college, and no longer going to that school.

“It’s disappointing there’s not a more up-to-date travel plan which would give us an idea of what’s going on in that area,” added councillor Dalgarno, who chairs the meeting.

“Taking on board the comments, I’m not going to implement the scheme as laid out. I am going to withdraw the proposal.

“But I am going to instruct officers from our highways team to contact the school and to support them in the development of an updated travel plan.

“I find it unacceptable that they’re using something that’s ten years out of date and then writing to the parish council to ask us to bring in new schemes.”