Sunday, 21 April 2013

On the Doorstep II - Speed Limits, On-Street Parking and the School Run

Well - more feedback from canvassing:

Along Mitford Road, residents seem to be coming to terms with the floodworks in their gardens - many have recruited an enterprising agent to deal with the EA and the contractors - though there are reports of poor communication between the EA and contractors and instances of poor people skills shown by the workforce.

Aside from that - main issues seem to be the speed of traffic coming past the schools from the Low Ford bridge and car parking by parents collecting children from the Middle Schools. I remember working as the ward town councillor with former County Councillor Stuart McKellar about ten-twelve years back on the former issue - there needs to be a 20mph zone outside the schools (at the very least) and probably one of those light-up 30mph signs that they have on every other road into the town. The problem as I recall is that the curve of the road from the west (which makes the approach to the schools blind and therefore even more dangerous) means that there is not enough of a sightline for speed restriction signs to be visible enough, though apparently a better case could be made if a child was killed or injured on the road. At least that's what the Highways Engineers and police said at the time - maybe it is worth revisiting without the need for a sacrifice.

And - twice a day - despite car parking being available at the Rugby Club, the whole street is lined with cars picking up children. And because lots of school buses are coming through, most of the cars are parked up on the pavement, so that the children (and other pedestrians) have to step out into the road - into the traffic - both to get round the cars and also get into cars. It is a nightmare. Although the Middle Schools do attract children from way outside Morpeth, I'd guess that most of those come by school bus. So - if there were safe routes for children to walk or cycle to the schools, there'd be no need for this mayhem. Someone suggested opening up Carlisle Park and the river promenade along High Stanners for cyclists (maybe only during the school run periods?) - so that children had a mainly off-road route to the schools.

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