We have been made aware that Staffordshire County Council is proposing the setting up of a ‘No Waiting At Any Time Restriction’ on Eastern Avenue between Monday-Friday outside The Friary School and with the consultation being run over the Christmas period we would urge parents to get involved and oppose this change.

The proposals are tied to the setting up of the new police facilities on Eastern Avenue which unfortunately have been poorly designed so that police vehicles have to leave the site on blue-light emergency call-outs right beside the main gates and zebra crossing of our 1,000+ size secondary school, rather than on the A51 on the other side of the building.

All parents who drop off / pick up will be aware that there is a 15 minute window at the start and end of day where it can be a little hectic outside the school but with many families travelling significant distances from our large catchment they have little option. It is hard to imagine any school not being busy at certain times but with the staff on duty and the zebra crossings we can help ensure children are safe as we have a realistic area to supervise.

These new plans will make busy arrangements a great deal more dangerous and problematic for both families and residents and we wholly disagree with this proposal for several important reasons:

1. The move would result in many parents having to park up on local narrow side streets which many children walk through to get to school. This will inevitably create huge problems for local residents and likely see blocked drives and damaged cars.

2. These busy side-roads will not be supervised by staff and the likelihood of accidents will be hugely increased.

3. The school has already been advised for safety reasons to put a gated, pass / intercom entrance to the school to reduce traffic onto the school site and on the main forecourt to prevent already heavy traffic at the start / end of the day. However, we have been blocked from doing this by the Lichfield District Council run Sports Centre which demands whole day access. Clearly, this will become a necessity if these proposals are passed.

4. There are clear road markings protecting the police site entrance / exit so there should be no parking blockages and the police will be best placed to deal with any individual parent who does not comply with road markings. It is difficult to understand why a police officer could not leave the building for half an hour a day for the first couple of weeks to ensure arrangements bed in well.

5. Last term a student was seriously injured in a road accident earlier in the year whilst walking down unpaved parts of Eastern Avenue. This plan will see hundreds more students having to walk down narrow or non-existent walkways. This issue appears to be compounded by the fact that the decision has been made to have blue-light, emergency call-outs coming right down this road.

6. The restriction would seem to be heavy-handed when there are only 2 x 15minute windows per day when it is busy. Indeed, the school is not actually open for a quarter of the year.

Certainly, the current arrangements are not ideal – I daresay they never will be around a large school which has over 1,000 children departing at the same time – but we do genuinely fear the new plans will make matters far worse.

The documentation related to the proposals is available below and the consultation is due to end on Monday 15th January and Friary students who have shocked at the proposals have already volunteered to post copies of the consultation documents to neighbouring residents in case they did not receive them from the County Council.

Any feedback can be posted to the address supplied or sent via email to transport.planning@staffordshire.gov.uk

Related Documents:

No Waiting Time Proposals for Eastern Avenue

Letter to Transport Dept – 3 Jan 2018