E-Petition – Road Safety, Samuel Ryder Academy, Drakes Drive, St. Albans The concerns raised within this petition have been considered and investigated by officers, and discussed with the local County Councillor, Rob Prowse. The County Council has been working with the Samuel Ryder Academy, parents and their governor representatives, through the County Council’s Safer Routes to Schools programme. Additionally, the county council’s School Crossing Patrol team has also been actively working with the Primary School in an effort to re-establish the school crossing patrol, after the post became vacant last summer. The Academy is an all-through school, with pupils from Infant & Primary age, through to secondary, all using one Campus which was formerly Francis Bacon secondary school. As the Academy community continues to grow, there is an even greater need for children to arrive at school by transport modes other than the motor vehicle. The decision by the head-teacher to close the school ‘drop-off zone’, contrary to a Planning Obligation, has and will continue to impact on journeys to school and the immediate road network. A consequence of this action is evidenced by increased ‘on-street’ parking coinciding with the start and end of the school day, especially in the vicinity of the Admirals Walk junction, as this is close to the Primary School pedestrian entrance; the level of resident complaints has also increased. Towards the end of October, the County Council wrote a newsletter to the head-teacher for distribution to parents and carers. This not only explained the measures being explored by the County Council to address some of their concerns, but also drew attention to the distress and inconvenience caused to neighbouring residents by a very small minority of the wider school community. Incidents of residents driveways being blocked has reportedly increased, as has the abuse those residents receive when they tackle those parents responsible. In addition to the above, some parents have taken to driving on to the grass verge on the school side of Drakes Drive to park and drop off. This is intimidating other pedestrians, both adults and children. The County Council has worked with the Academy since it was formed, and a very recent achievement has been the establishment of their very first ‘walking bus’, with the prospect of further routes being developed. Furthermore, there has also been interest in a ‘park and stride’ scheme to encourage more parents to park away from the school site and make the shorter journey on foot. The petition calls for improved signage. Motorists are made aware of the Academy site through advanced school warning signs located in Drakes Drive. It is understood the petition calls for ‘flashing lights above and below school signs’; whilst these can be used where a school crossing patrol operates, they cannot be used in conjunction with a zebra crossing. Therefore, the County Council is looking to move the school crossing patrol away from the zebra crossing, and closer to the primary school entrance. This would allow flashing lights to be used either side of the relocated school crossing patrol site. However, the County Council must first consult those residents who may be affected by changes outside their properties. This consultation will take place this November. The petition calls for railings to be placed the full length of the school site. Whilst this would not be appropriate, safety expert advice has been requested to assess whether any additional sections of pedestrian guard-railing should be provided in the vicinity of pedestrian entrances into the Academy site. The dropped kerbs discussed in the petition are believed to refer to those which abut the school car park driveway. These could be re-aligned so that pedestrians are properly directed. It is suggested this work could be incorporated into any package of work to relocate the school crossing patrol site. Hertfordshire Constabulary are responsible for enforcing the speed limit in Drakes Drive, and there is an approved Safety Camera Partnership Mobile Enforcement site which operates from the layby outside the Academy. However, the speed of traffic at start and end of the school day is not considered to be a problem because of the congestion caused by school traffic. In addition to the concerns raised within this petition, the County Council has also identified the need for measures to deter parking in the vicinity of the Academy site. Consultation on an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order in the form of waiting restrictions (yellow lines) will commence this November. This will include restrictions of ‘No Parking Monday to Friday, 8am to 9am and 2:30pm to 4:00pm’, and ‘No waiting at any time’. Whilst the County Council is proposing a number of engineering measures to help address the concerns raised within this petition, a full solution will not be achieved without the co-operation and support of all parents and carers of children at the Samuel Ryder Academy.