At Bathampton Primary we encourage families to travel actively to school wherever practical – by bike, scooter or on foot. We understand that there are lots of improvements that could be made to safety for pedestrians and cyclists on the roads on the way to school and are lobbying hard to make these happen.
The Safer Routes to School Group is run by parents who have children of different ages at the school with regular input from both school management and children. We visit school council at least annually to ask for feedback from pupils about our plans and for help with our winter ‘hands-up’ pupil travel surveys. In 2017 we started to feature on the agenda for the full governing body meeting and were really pleased to have questions included for the first time in the school’s annual summer survey for parents and pupils. These inputs help us check that we are heading in the right direction.
We record our activities on a school travel plan that is hosted online by national accreditation organisation Modeshift Stars. The council is asking all schools to record their plans in this way so that there is consistency of approach. It also gives us the chance to apply for awards and so far Bathampton Primary has achieved its Silver award, which we achieved in January 2018.
If any parents would like to join our group, please get in contact via SafeRoutes@Bathampton.bwmat.org
What are our road safety priorities?
We carried out a detailed parent survey in June 2016 to help us set out priorities for improving safety on the roads on the way to school. The response was clear – parents were most concerned about crossings on the canal bridge, from the George and outside school, followed by safety on fast local roads (Mill Lane and Warminster Road).
Please click here to see the full results of the parent and classroom travel survey.
From this feedback has come the new Safe Zone outside school. Parents have responded amazingly to the request to avoid Church Close and Tyning Road at drop off and pick up and use the George car park instead. Even in poor weather, parents have been stuck to not drawing up in front of school – a huge thank you for this.
The Safe Zone is in our gift to make happen as it is part of how we organise ourselves as a school community. Other improvements to crossings and roads can only be made with the support of our Parish Council, Ward Councillors and B&NES Council. We are making progress here. We were very grateful to have £40k awarded to safer routes as part of the 2017/18 Council budget. This has been spent on widening the pavements on Mill Lane that previously had narrow stretches that didn’t allow parents to walk safely next to their children, especially if also pushing a buggy.
We continue to press for a more formal crossing at the George. The location doesn’t meet Highways key criteria for a zebra crossing in terms of land ownership and space available, but we are undeterred and have an assurance from the Council that they will work with us to do more with regards to visibility and warnings than the raised table that exists today. In the short-term the Council will put down large road warning stickers either side of the raised table, resurface it and have moved the flashing sign opposite the George that sent a confusing message to drivers coming from Mill Lane.
Here are our priorities: SRTS Road Safety Priorities T6 201718
This still leaves us with our greatest risk – the canal bridge crossing. The vacancy for the crossing patrol is still live and widely-advertised. It is possible for this role to be on a job-share basis and if there are parents able to contribute to a paid/employed rota, please let the school know.
We recognise that a crossing patrol is not a permanent solution to a wider community issue and are very fortunate indeed to have an Engineer parent currently working with the school to put forward a design for a new pedestrian bridge. In order to make the bridge a future asset for the whole community, a new charity has been set up to bring forward a potential design. Please visit www.bathamptonconkercrossing.com to find out more.
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