Residents of Red Lion Close, Cranfield have highlighted issues in relation to parking and traffic congestion at school peak hours to Central Bedfordshire Council.
Council officers held several meetings with councillors and residents to design a scheme to help reduce the issue.
The proposal put to the chair of the Traffic Management Meeting on Tuesday (15 December 2020) was to ensure that there was access to and from residential driveways, and for emergency vehicles, at all times.
Following a consultation held in July and August 2019, the original proposal was amended to the following:
- No waiting at any time restrictions to remain at Red Lion Close junction with High Street, as existing
- No waiting at any time restrictions introduced at the Red Lion Close junction with its spur road, along the northern side of Red Lion Close to the east of the spur and at the school entrance
- No waiting restriction before/after school hours to be applied across all other lengths of Red Lion Close, where no waiting at any time restrictions are not proposed.
- Two disabled bays within the turning head on the spur road
As a result of suggestions and discussions with the Traffic Enforcement Team, the time-based restrictions have been reduced to 45 minute periods at the start and end of the school day to ensure the impacts on residents are minimised.
Ward councillor Ken Matthews told the meeting that he lives on the corner of Red Lion Close and the High Street and that there were two reasons for this proposal. The first was for safety reasons, and secondly to try to avoid people with cars blocking residents’ drives. He said:
“I have witnessed several incidents that were a danger to children who are walking or scooting to school. There have been occasions when buses have been mounting the grass verge very close to where children are walking or scooting.
“Other incidents have involved residents trying to get off their drive but they’ve been blocked in by parents parking outside the drive.”
Cllr Matthews added he had several meetings with the residents and that a majority were in favour of the proposed scheme.
What will happen for those parents who are trying to drop off their children at the school? Cllr Matthews said:
“Every time you introduce parking restriction it’s inevitable it moves it [the issue] from one place to another. But there will be opportunities to park on the High Street to allow parents to drop off their children at that time.”
Cllr Dalgarno, the chair of the Traffic Management Meeting said that he had received letters from residents over this matter, and one in November talked about cars parking on the pavement and the road being blocked. He said:
“This is a common issue when schools are in cul-de-sacs and the entrances are very limited in terms of capacity. This has been going on for quite some time and we have an opportunity to support the residents in the area.”
“I’m really pleased in general that this particular item has finally managed to make it to Traffic Management with a resolution which tends to satisfy most of the residents. I am going to move this forward as laid out, with the waiting restrictions and the two disabled bays.”
No date was given for this work to be carried out, but in the report the council said it will continue to batch sites for works to enable efficiencies and lining works are best carried out between April and October.