Wokingham Borough Council is to build eight new permanent pedestrian crossings at school sites across the borough.
The new crossing will all be in place before the school term starts in September 2018 and will provide safe 24-hour a day crossings for all residents. The decision follows a public consultation carried out earlier this year into school sites currently service by a School Crossing Patroller. The consultation, which had about 360 responses, did not highlight any specific safety issues relating to the removal of School Crossing Patrollers, many comments were focused on wider issues outside the remit of School Crossing Patrollers.
Therefore, we have decided to extend safe crossings by replacing the current crossing patrollers with safe permanent pedestrian crossings. We will also provide permanent crossings at two sites that have not had a crossing patroller for some time. This will mean that people of all ages are helped to safely cross the road at all times rather than the current limited periods and locations where crossing patrollers are currently in place.
The affected sites where a zebra crossing will be put in place are:
- St Paul’s Junior & Walter Infant Schools in Wokingham
- Woodley CofE Primary School in Woodley
- Willow Bank Infant & Junior Schools in Woodley
- Keep Hatch Primary School in Wokingham
- South Lake Primary School in Woodley
The affected site where a signal-controlled crossing will be put in place is:
- Polehampton CofE Infant & Junior Schools in Twyford
The existing crossing location in Norreys Avenue (All Saints CE (Aided) Primary School) will be enhanced in addition to the existing system of traffic calming and 20mph speed limit zone.
In addition, new signal-controlled crossings will be installed at two sites that have not had a patroller operating on the site for some time these are at Oaklands Primary School and Loddon Primary School.
Executive member for highways, Cllr Keith Baker said: “We do not take a decision such as this lightly. We looked carefully at the consultation responses and it is clear that some parents like the reassurance of a school crossing patroller and that the patrollers are popular.
“But it is also clear that permanent crossings are a safe alternative. Last year, we removed patrollers from locations that had permanent crossings and there have been no issues around the pedestrian crossing providing safe passage for school children. In fact, the crossings have provided a safe way for all pedestrians, including pupils and parents, crossing the road. Furthermore, it has increased the safety for crossing these roads outside of school times.”
With the installation of the permanent crossings, the council’s remaining school crossing patrol roles have been put at risk of redundancy subject to a formal HR process.