No fixed plans to manage traffic around new schools
EDUCATION has no fixed idea what it wants to do to manage traffic around the new schools.
Residents and douzaines have all expressed serious concerns since Traffic Impact Assessments were released as part of the planning application to extend St Sampsons High and Les Beaucamps to take hundreds of more pupils and staff.
Now Education, Sport & Culture has stressed that these assessments, which warn of overloaded junctions and extended journey times, will simply 'play a part' shaping work officers within the Education Office are carrying out to develop suitable traffic management systems for Victor Hugo College (currently the St Sampson’s site) and de Saumarez College (currently Les Beaucamps site).
'The Traffic Impact Assessment seeks to inform the planning application process and provide guidance to the committee as we consider how best to ensure that suitable traffic management systems are in place when the new colleges are fully operational,' said Education, Sport & Culture president Matt Fallaize.
He said they were not final proposals and 'there is much work to be done' and that they would be listening to concerns raised by residents living near the sites.
'We remain confident that any concerns around traffic can be resolved, but they also have to be balanced with educational benefits and the educational case for these reforms remains very strong because of the breadth of choice, equality of opportunity and the high quality facilities that will be offered to all students rather than only to some students which is the case at present.’
Education was looking at a combination of a modest increase of other ways of getting to school other than by car combined with infrastructure improvements, he said.
The TIAs propose different ways to mitigate the impact of around 110 extra staff and 1,000 more pupils travelling to and from Les Beaucamps site and 800 more pupils and 80 to St Sampson's.
This includes a minimum of 31 buses serving the two colleges; requiring parents at de Saumarez to arrive 15 minutes before school starts/ends and not leave until after the last bus, extending the one-way in Les Gigands and a drop off point at Oatlands and Victoria Avenue.
But even with those measures some junctions will be over capacity.
ESC says it will create traffic focus groups of residents near the sites and work with the Health Improvement Commission’s Active Travel Officer.
Steve Foote, programme director for the reforms, said: ‘Getting the traffic management right for both sites is a clear priority area for the programme and this work will be led and developed by an experienced officer who I expect to have in post imminently. The Traffic Impact Assessment is the starting point for that work, not the end, as we seek to ensure a system is developed that allows traffic to flow around both sites with as little disruption as possible.’