“Temporary” but not that temporary

The current parking measures may be labelled temporary, but in reality this is the beginning of the old school site making itself felt.

Whilst the school is decamped there the yellow zig zags along Cormont will be enforced reducing further any available parking. Plus imagine the extra cars for teachers and parents. A local resident has done some digging and found a startling report buried in the planning application on the projected impact:

6.4.4 Car Parking and Highway Impacts

6.4.5 A parking stress survey for the 200m walk distance from the temporary relocation site was carried out on two days to ascertain existing parking conditions and stresses, collecting data for the 0700 – 1000  – 1900 periods.

6.4.6 This survey found the overall stresses in the survey area to be 85% in the morning peak and 72% in the PM, which left an average of 20 free spaces in the AM and 51 in the PM. The period 0900 – 1000 was the busiest with an average of 9 spaces available only. 

Essentially the area does not have much spare parking capacity within the 200m distance of the site that was surveyed.

6.4.7 A travel mode survey has been carried out for the existing school operating from Langton Road, and this details the following existing mode shares and numbers of trips:

For Pupils; For Staff

Walk 40% Walk 27%

Cycle 2% Cycle 4%

Rail 5% Rail 19%

Bus 47% Bus 15%

Car (solo) 6% – 28 trips Car (solo) 27% – 20 trips

Car (share) 1% – 3 trips Car (share) 8% – 6 trips

6.4.8 As can be seen from the existing travel survey data, there are 48 car trips made to the existing school site. The parking stress survey detailed AM average capacity of approximately 20 free spaces during the survey period with 9 available at the busiest time. 

The Transport Assessment does comment that only 25% of school staff will be driving/arriving at the peak hour, and also comments that there is potential for more car sharing for pupils given that 8% of pupils have a sibling at the school. 

The parking stress survey details almost 100% parking stress within Cormont Road at present so there is essentially no capacity in the street the school is in.

6.4.9 Based on the above rationale the applicant is proposing that the actual number of car arrivals in the AM peak hour would be 32 vehicles for both staff and pupil drop off trips. This is of course greater than the average number of spaces available in the AM peak hour of 0900 – 1000 so it is very likely that if existing mode shares remain the same, that there could potentially be very high parking stresses and potential impacts on the safe and efficient operation of the highway. However, in practice it is suggested that staff will arrive before the bulk of any pupil car drop off, and will take up the free spaces available, so effectively there will be very few available spaces for parents to drop off and pick up within 200m of the relocated school. The Applicant suggests that because the relocation is close to the existing site, and opportunities near the new site will be very limited, parents will drop off close to or at the locations they are dropped off at present. 

Whilst not ideal given the high existing parking stresses, the situation may well ease with Travel Plan initiatives being taken up and it must also be noted that this is essentially a temporary situation and not a permanent one.
This “temporary” measure is likely to last a year.

And what then?

The Grade II listed building is apparently soon to be added to the “at risk” register because of its poor condition. St Gabriel’s preferred option was to redevelop the building and locate the school there, but the EFA ruled this out as too costly.

Will this be another lost community asset falling prey to developers? Watch this space for even more building works as it’s turned into more luxury flats complete with more cars.

When emailing the Council please make your view heard that turning the school into flats is as unacceptable as turning the library into a gym.

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