Road Traffic Calming Measures Vital for Schools

The increase in complaints from parents and residents about how traffic and road conditions link to potential dangers to schoolchildren is becoming a real issue for those in charge of highways.

At key periods during term time – usually between 8.30-9.00am and 2.15-3.30pm – roads around primary and secondary schools become jammed with parents dropping off or collecting children. This not only creates potential danger zones for the children, but also interferes with the smooth flow of traffic in the area.

Surveying local road traffic conditions

Local papers often report on campaigns for safer roads near school – whether it’s parking, turning or speed issues. Local traffic conditions vary from one school to another and because many older schools have been extended to cope with intake demands, road systems have to handle increased traffic without any changes to the road or to school access.

Councils responsible for road traffic control can use traffic and parking surveys to learn more about the way roads around schools are used. These surveys collect a wide range of data, including peak travel times, vehicle counts, speed data and parking locations and figures. In addition, pedestrian surveys and journey time data can give a wider view of current conditions, allowing councils, schools and developers to work together to improve travel for road users and make the school run period safer for children.

What traffic calming measures do councils add?

The key for the safety of children is to reduce traffic speed, so councils often introduce 20mph limits in a fixed zone outside schools. They may also install speed bumps, or alter the layout of the road so that drivers have to slow down to navigate. Painting signs on the road may also contribute to speed reduction as will fixed road signs.

Parking may be trickier. Some areas have resident-only street parking next to schools, whilst nearby businesses may restrict parking to customers only. Schools could encourage parents to park slightly further away from school and walk the last 5 minutes of the journey.

Specialist speed surveys from RDS

At Road Data Services, we specialise in collecting and reporting data that promotes informed decision making. Our surveys include speed, journey time, parking, pedestrian and queues, allowing you to tailor the survey and data to your specific needs. Using the information we collect, you can see how to alter or build road systems or introduce traffic calming solutions to make journeys smoother and people safer.

To find out more, contact us today.

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