Not so calm about traffic

PUBLISHED: 12:27 14 September 2006 | UPDATED: 10:54 06 May 2010

New calming measures have done little to stop the traffic chaos outside Mary Exton School, claims the headteacher

New calming measures have done little to stop the traffic chaos outside Mary Exton School, claims the headteacher

A HEADTEACHER has spoken of her disappointment that a £150,000 traffic calming scheme outside her school has not been successful. Karen Ireland, of Mary Exton JMI School in Hitchin, said that the work done on St Michael s Road was meant to help slow down

A HEADTEACHER has spoken of her disappointment that a £150,000 traffic calming scheme outside her school has not been successful.

Karen Ireland, of Mary Exton JMI School in Hitchin, said that the work done on St Michael's Road was meant to help slow down traffic and make the road safer for parents and children.

However the alteration, which began in February and was completed in July, has had little impact.

Ms Ireland said: "For all the time that was spent on the alterations, widening the footpaths and cycle paths, and working on the roundabout near the school, it really hasn't been a success, and that is quite a disappointment.

"The works were supposed to slow down the speeding traffic but the speed of vehicles going past during school time is still fast.

"At peak times it is worse. It is supposed to be a 30mph limit but during the day people are speeding past the school gates. You would have thought they would have more sense.

"And now, because the road has been narrowed, when parents drop their children off, parking for them is very difficult.

"We are happy the council wanted to try to get people to walk and cycle to school, and we are very happy that the cycle route and pathways have been widened, but the alterations have caused as many problems as they have solved.

"It was really busy in the first place but it is a shame that, after everything that has been done, it has had no impact.

"People use the underpass less than they used to and more children are using the road than ever before. It is a real shame that it doesn't seem to be working too well."

A spokesman for Hertfordshire County Council said a lot of work has been done to try to increase safety around the school, including putting in build-outs to help traffic calming.

She also said that the nearby roundabout needs widening to slow down approaching traffic. This should be finished within the next few weeks.

The spokesman added: "We realise there have been problems with roundabouts and we are trying to deal with that as soon as possible."

She said that the school is looking at developing a school travel plan to get more parents and children to use the footpaths and cycle paths and help reduce the number of vehicles using the road to make it safer for everybody.

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