Guernsey Press

No opposition to school drop-off road closure

NO PARENTS of children at St Martin’s Primary School turned up to an information meeting on the proposed closure of Route des Coutures at school drop-off and pick-up times.

Pupils from St Martin’s Primary School’s Rights Respecting School group are delighted that their idea of closing Route des Coutures to traffic, except for cyclists and those people accessing properties, at drop-off times will be trialled from next week. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 31925468)

Head teacher Clare Giles said this showed that everyone involved was behind the changes.

‘We announced today that parents will be able to “kiss and drop” at St Martin’s Community Centre and the children walk straight to school across the closed road. This has removed any remaining opposition to the scheme,' she said.

The road will be closed to traffic – except for cyclists and those accessing properties – between 8.30 and 9am, and then between 2.45 and 3.15pm.

Before the scheme was announced, Traffic & Highway Services monitored the road outside the school and found two occasions close to pick up and drop off times where cars exceeded 50mph. The road has a 25mph speed limit.

Road safety officer Paul James said that almost 20% of the cars they had monitored were exceeding the limit.

‘This is about keeping children safe. One of those recordings of over 50mph was close to 4pm. Travelling at those speeds when children could be arriving or leaving the school is obviously very dangerous.’

He said that about 100 to 125 vehicles used the road in the slots where it will now be closed and 50 of them were connected to the school.

‘We are actually only talking about displacing 50 to 75 cars. We are fairly confident the trial will go well’

The scheme will launch on Wednesday 29 March and be reviewed after a week, which aligns with the break for Easter holidays.

Mrs Giles said the scheme had been driven by the schools ‘rights squad’, which included representatives from across the year groups.

‘We are a Unicef Gold Rights Respecting School. We actively help the children understand and access their rights. Representatives of the group came to see me about transport and safety and asked me to organise meetings with T&HS. Their voice was very powerful and I am proud of the maturity they have shown.’

One member of the group was Year 6 pupil Maeve Nally.

‘I cycle to school and this will make my journey safer. It’s a great thing that T&HS have agreed to this and I’d like to thank Mrs Giles and the teachers who have helped us achieve this change.’