Traffic concerns over bigger school win hands down
CHEERS and whoops of delight filled the hall at St Sampson’s High School in response to unanswered questions put to Education staff and its representatives on Wednesday.
The public meeting, attended by about 300 people and hosted by the douzaine, focused on the infrastructure and traffic for St Sampson’s, which will become the Victor Hugo College under the Lisia School plans.
The Dean, the Very Rev. Tim Barker, chaired the meeting, which featured a presentation on the traffic impact assessment by Arup, which was commissioned by Education, Sport & Culture, followed by a question and answer session.
During the meeting, Arup traffic advisor Phillip Ayres revealed a number of updates that were not within the TIA, including the fact that Les Gigands was no longer likely to be one-way because of Traffic & Highway Services concerns.
‘We’re considering to expand the current provision of buses,’ he said.
‘Currently there is one lay-by that just about fits five buses and we’re looking at expanding this to three for up to 17 school buses.’
Many, including douzenier Rob Gill, were concerned there was a lack of availability of both buses and drivers, as well as sites to store any additional buses.
Ideas on what could be done involved having discussions with bus companies to expand the number of buses, but that this was something that was still being looked into.
Laughter also filled the hall at the suggestion that staff, with car parking spaces limited to 75% of their number, could run coffee mornings at which they could discuss car sharing.
Douzenier Brad Le Flock questioned the viability of schoolchildren being dropped off at the proposed drop and stride locations at Oatlands and Victoria Avenue and the safety of children.
Improvements to junctions from the two sites were suggested to counteract these concerns.
Emphasis was given to the fact that the current TIA was at the start of a two- to three-year process and was based on a worst-case scenario, and changes would be made to as and when needed dependent on what would work and what would not work.
They also said annual surveys would be conducted to assess whether the changes had been suitable.
At the end of the meeting many residents remained unsure about the development of the new school model and, on being asked via a show of hands whether they thought the development would work, nobody in the hall raised their arm.
. ESC has scheduled an extra drop-in with senior staff, educationalists, committee members and officers leading the infrastructure change at Beau Sejour on Monday to give islanders a chance to review plans for the two college sites prior to the deadline for submissions to the planning application. The drop-in will take place between 4pm and 8pm.
. The planning permission consultation on the school sites ends next Thursday.