Road safety issues are putting Stevenage pupils in danger

SCHOOL staff have said they cannot encourage their students to cycle to school because they are battling with road safety . SoStevenage – a body made up of organisations from the voluntary, community, business and public sectors – is encouraging its part

SCHOOL staff have said they cannot encourage their students to cycle to school because they are "battling with road safety".

SoStevenage - a body made up of organisations from the voluntary, community, business and public sectors - is encouraging its partners to "actively promote cycleways for active transport and recreation".

But Barry Burningham, deputy head at The Nobel School in Stevenage, said: "We are battling with road safety and parents are saying they are reluctant to let students cycle as the paths do not pass the school."

In the past year-and-a-half three Nobel School students have been knocked down and injured by vehicles.

"With the three 'knock downs' that we've had we would love to have cycle paths," said Mr Burningham.

"I know that this is under consideration under the Urban Transport Plan."

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Alistair Craig, headteacher at the school, added: "The pavements are not wide enough to support cycle paths, but if the grass areas are removed and made into a designated cycle path that would help."

He said the issue of safety, including the safety of students on foot, is only set to increase with the number of pupils at the school set to rise from 1,200 to 1,600.

The school will be expanded on its existing site as part of Building Schools for the Future - an investment programme aimed at rebuilding or renewing nearly every secondary school in England.

"There are some things in the design of the new school which should help," said Mr Craig.

"Instead of two narrow gates, we are planning for the removal of all the front fences which means the students would come out of an area the width of the whole school and by the time they reach the pavement they should be more dispersed."

Herts Highways Joint Member Panel (JMP) has resolved to spend up to �10,000 on a feasibility study to decide how best to make the area safer, with further funding needed if the results indicate that action needs to be taken.