Road safety scheme outside academy gets under way

Published: Monday, 21st January 2019

Work is under way on a scheme to improve safety for children, parents and motorists outside a city school.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council is carrying out the work outside Thistley Hough Academy, in Penkhull, following concerns about people parking irresponsibly near the school, drivers speeding along Newcastle Lane and pupils not paying enough attention when crossing roads.

The safety scheme, part of the council’s capital programme of investment across the city, will involve:

  • Installation of new high-visibility pedestrian guardrails at the Newcastle Lane/Lodge Road/Thistley Hough junction;
  • Installation of two pedestrian refuge ‘islands’ on Newcastle Lane;
  • Installation of a new zebra crossing on Newcastle Lane;
  • Installation of advisory 20mph speed limit signs on Newcastle Lane with part-time flashing amber signals;
  • Installation of a flat top ‘raised table’ speed hump at the Newcastle Lane/Thistley Hough/Lodge Road junction.

The safety measures have been drawn up following two public consultations where views received were used to come up with the final plans.

Cllr Daniel Jellyman, cabinet member for regeneration, transport and heritage at the city council, said: “Road safety is one of our top priorities and something we take very seriously. I look forward to seeing the completed scheme.”

Cllr Randy Conteh, cabinet member for housing, communities and safer city, and ward member for Penkhull, has worked closely with the community, school and Staffordshire Police to improve road safety in the area.

He said: “It’s vital everyone works together and pulls in the same direction to collectively address issues like this. Over the last few years a lot of work has taken place involving the council, school, parents and pupils to improve road safety outside the school gates, from enforcement days to hard-hitting safety campaigns.

“We’ve carried out an extensive consultation on the road changes being introduced and the school are very supportive of the work. You will never stop every accident from happening, but what you can do is reduce the potential for them to take place and these changes should hopefully do that.”

The work is expected to take around 12 weeks to complete. Temporary traffic lights will be installed to ensure the safety of motorists and workers, and the most disruptive works have been planned to be carried out during half-term.

Jayne Schofield, acting principal at Thistley Hough Academy, said: “We’re delighted that these vital speed calming measures have now begun, as it’s essential we keep our students safe while travelling to and from our academy.

“Everyone in the local community has had concerns around the speed of traffic travelling through the area, particularly along Newcastle Lane, and irresponsible parking on Thistley Hough. This came to a head last year due to the high number of our students involved in road accidents which is why we launched our #cutout road safety campaign in May.

“Since then we have carried out speed gun checks, parental surveys, special assemblies, a road safety poster competition, as well as distributing #cutout badges and stickers to the local community. We have also worked hard to raise road safety awareness among our students to encourage them to put their phones away and pay full attention when crossing these busy roads.

“In addition, we have a dedicated academy drop-off and pick-up area off Newcastle Lane for our parents and carers to prevent obstructions caused by inconsiderate parking on Thistley Hough or Newcastle Lane. With the start of these speed calming measures, we hope the road safety message is starting to get through. We will continue to support all efforts to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone within our community.”