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.”


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