A mammoth session of the traffic management sub-committee on 14 January devoured the business before it at speed in a 2 hour and 40 minute meeting.
Councillor Hopper asked for a clarification of the visitors parking permit changes included within review of residents permit rules where a resident did not have their own car. It was made clear that the change would allow an option to choose a single permit for any car rather than books of visitors permits .
The proposed change to teachers permits requested in relation Cranbury College was deferred after a request by Councillor Page and Councillor Jones for more information about the implications for other schools and colleges.
Also deferred for further consideration was the change to refund and transfer definitions, because of the possible bureaucratic overhead.
This is a problem across the town, often this is because other parents are parking on school zig-zags and double yellow lines, with loading bans. This can create a chaotic environment with cars driving on the pavement and manoeuvring erratically to get around congestion. This is dangerous and unacceptable but traffic wardens are rarely seen. We want to see a healthy Reading with more children walking to school. This means improving road safety and the perception of road safety at our schools.
Unfortunately due to the government changes I understand that the CCTV camera car can no longer enforce loading bans outside schools. Also I believe that when the our parking enforcement contract was renewed the number of traffic wardens was reduced.
Can the chair / lead councillor, inform me how much traffic warden enforcement there currently is outside our schools in hours and as a percentage of the total enforcement and will the lead councillor commit to increasing enforcement outside of our schools to ensure that every Reading child has a safe route to school?
Councillor Page responded that:
School keep clear markings, that is the yellow zig-zag markings that are placed directly outside of our schools for the safety of schoolchildren, are still enforced by the CCTV camera van. During the school arrival and departure times the enforcement van is totally dedicated to enforcing those restrictions. The use of the van is still permitted and it is a far more effective means of enforcement than civil enforcement officers deployed on foot.
Later (agenda item 12) there was a school expansion and sustainable transport update that was to become a regular item on the meeting’s agenda.
The schools under consideration are:
- Geoffrey Field Infant/ Junior Schools
- EP Collier Primary
- Ridgeway Primary School
- Southcote Primary School
- Alfred Sutton Primary School
- St Michaels Primary
- St Martins Primary
- Churchend Primary
- Hodsoll Road (new school)
This demonstrates that the council is doing its bit and we need the schools now to do their bit and deliver their side of the bargain with the travel plans.
The proceedings can be viewed as a webcast.