Councillor Talks Of ‘Dangerous’ School Access

Sign on Trench Lane

Sign on Trench Lane

Pupils walking to school across Old Town bay face “dangerous” conditions with young children and buggies, “inches away from big vehicles.”

That’s the view of Cllr Roy Duncan, who told the Heart public meeting that issues of safe school access have not been resolved satisfactorily.

Council vice chair Amanda Martin said that a safe route to school had been greatly discussed in the planning department. Options originally included a path across the meadow, which would allow children to walk down Trench Lane.

Amanda couldn’t see why that wasn’t used. At the time, officers informed councillors that Trench Lane was a private road and its use would not be permissible.

Cllr Dudley Mumford felt that it was “remarkable” that “so many obstacles have been put in our way” and a route, using Trench Lane, was an “opportunity lost.”

But attendees at the Heart meeting were told that nobody living at Trench Lane had been consulted on the use of the road, despite the impression being given that locals were opposed.

One resident told the meeting that he had written to all councillors but only Mike Nelhams and John Goddard had responded.

After parents complained, the Town Hall brought in consultants to look at access options. Part of their work was to survey traffic on the Old Town Road.

Cllr Martin said she had voiced her concerns that the work was undertaken during the autumn half term when it was less busy. It still went ahead then.

Most councillors at the Heart session were in agreement that the school access issue was not resolved. But they were less clear on what happens next.

When asked whether the plan could be revisited, Cllr Martin replied, “I do hope so.”


16 Responses to Councillor Talks Of ‘Dangerous’ School Access

  1. Afraid to put my name February 18, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    We’ve had no child abductions either but we still insist on CRB checks.

    So the argument to do nothing about what is, clearly, an unsafe environment for children to regularly be in, is not valid if using the same lgic of trying to avoid children being harmed.

  2. Fran Grottick February 18, 2013 at 9:57 am

    I believe that the Duchy released the land at
    Trench Lane with permitted access to the
    Nature Trail. At the time, residents asked the
    Council to adopt the road, but there was no policy in
    place and this did not happen.
    At the recent Town Hall meeting ,residents confirmed
    that they have not been consulted regarding school access.
    It seems reasonable to ask at what point this option left
    the table, and how the builders were apparently allowed
    to side-step an important condition.
    As to the access survey, if there was a safer path, more
    people might use it, surely.

  3. Fred Colon February 17, 2013 at 10:16 am

    It would appear that Mr Nobb’s has been moderated and posts have been removed, perhaps in relation to using the N-word?

  4. Clive February 14, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    The thing I don’t understand is if the route past Old Town bay is so treacherous for children and alike, then why is the council adamant on having a footpath/pavement/joke alongside the sea wall? Would it not make more sense to widen the road slightly, chop off the corner opposite the boat park and put a pavement along that side? I do not have children but I would not want them walking any where near the ‘sea defence’ when there are waves breaking over it. Neither would I be happy for them to be forced to the opposite side of the road heading towards a blind corner with oncoming traffic. Realistically though, the safest route for both situations (weather and traffic) would be Trench Lane.

  5. Pat Hicks February 14, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Gosh Nobby .. your going to have to come out!!. alot of what you say makes sense.. we need to put a face to Nobby!!.

  6. parent February 14, 2013 at 7:39 am

    There is a larger cohort of children in the infants and juniors than usual at the moment with another coming along next year. Being aged 3 and a half to 6 they will be walked in by their parents/carers, whom may prefer not to walk their charges to school within inches of cars driving past and would welcome the Trench Lane option.
    Incidentally, the school day finishes at 3.30 and cars have no other option but to park and collect from the car park entrance (and they are collecting mostly younger children who could not go home alone.)

  7. Pat Hicks February 14, 2013 at 12:15 am

    Here Here. wish i could say things that make sense steve.
    i even confuse myself sometimes..
    I always think the people that know me, will understand me.
    but maybe sometimes not. !!

  8. Todd Stevens February 13, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    I dont have any kids- but when I see little tots being lead on a string along that road through the puddles whilst a big lorry thunders by- I cringe. IF anything ever happened- those who allowed it to happen would feel extremely bad indeed. Yes, the older kids will go the shortest route- but the little ones being lead by an elder have no choice. No one can stop people walking down Trench lane. For god sake give them a path from there to the school before something happens to make you do it!! God forbid.

    You know it makes sense people.

  9. LINDYLOU February 13, 2013 at 8:59 pm


  10. Steve Sims February 13, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    I’m pretty ambivalent about this. But I think there are a couple of points here that weren’t raised. Firstly there are no more or less kids using this route to school than in the past. if Old Town road is the quickest route to school now it was still the case for the old Sec school site.

    If the new route starts too far down Trench lane then it would be longer and the kids, who aren’t stupid, wouldn’t use it.

    Also how dangerous is it, has there been even one incident in the last 25 years, bearing in mind the pedestrian traffic is the same. And in my experience (I drive along there everyday in the summer about 3:15) the traffic is slow and careful (that may be because of an on coming bus though) and the children are sensible. The main issue is cars picking up the kids.

    And I think the access issue is related to crossing Duchy land which, I was told by someone I assume would know, is problematic.

    Saying that, if a more effective “safer” route can be found then all well and good.

  11. brian sandford February 13, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Can somone tell me if Trench lane is a private road where exactly the nature trail ends in old town !

  12. who ever February 13, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    so how do we access the nature trail?????

  13. Excelsior! February 13, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    The Trench Lane thing was very questionable, and not much transparent debate seemed to take place before it was discounted…which seems to indicate it be officer ‘preference’ for it not to happen.

    There are solutions but at the end of the day a safe route to school was part of the conditions of the build, but Members were asked to ‘waive’ that condition at a meeting in 2011. That’s not acceptable, I’d like a few more answers as to who suggested that the condition be waived, and why the access to the school was so badly considered. Barry Archer was/is the manager of the build I believe. Ask him.

    There is a report online from November 2011 Planning meeting which discussed what is to happen next, and that a feasability report was being drafted by Cornwall Council and then considered at the next School project board meeting.

    14 months later and a botched attempt at tarmacing later, and some wonky lines drawn (and subsequently faded) it’s a roaring success with zero road deaths along the route! You could have a very funny game of ‘spot the difference’ if you showed me a picture of the road now compared with 5 years ago.

    Demand answers, make this place better, have some pride in the community.

  14. Pat Hicks February 13, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Sorry i meant some Officers/Councilors/ Govenors and staff
    Pushing/pulling in different directions.
    Some of them need to be made accountable for their actions.!!

  15. Pat Hicks February 13, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    It seems as tho some of the councilors/goveners are still pushing/pulling in different directions..
    i cant wait for April to see excactly what those who want to be voted onto the council, feel they can bring to the table.
    What excactly is there agenda/views on the way forward .
    It better be pretty b—-y good.
    To me i dont care if thay are islanders or not.
    Its what they can do for these Islands that counts .