Warnings over increased traffic risk outside Harpenden school

Parking outside Sauncey Wood primary school is causing concern for children's safety

Parking outside Sauncey Wood primary school is causing concern for children's safety - Credit: Archant

Traffic conditions around a Harpenden primary school are becoming so dangerous that the governors fear it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured there.

Sauncey Wood primary school in Pickford Hill has been going from strength to strength in recent years with more children going there and an increasing number of staff.

But with many parents having to drive their children to the school from elsewhere in Harpenden because of the shortage of primary places in the town, the governors are concerned about traffic danger during drop off and pick up times.

Over the past two years there have been several initiatives to reduce the number of cars including Walk to School Week and a daily tally on alternative means of transport. Bike and scooter shelters have also been donated by the Friends of Sauncey Wood.

But despite attempts to reduce car use, the school fears that before too long, the consequence will be a serious injury.

In a letter to county councillor David Williams about the situation around the Batford school at peak periods Ray Clark, on behalf of the governors, warned that the situation had become ‘unacceptably dangerous and difficult to manage”.

He explained that cars mounted the pavements on a daily basis, parked on pavements and blocked the road and driveways of residents, resulting in frequent near misses with children both on the road and on the pavement.

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Mr Clark said: “Much of the problem stems from the fact that, with cars parked opposite the school, Pickford Hill is reduced to a single line of traffic at all times of the day.”

The governors have put forward several solutions, which they say have the support of the local community.

They feel that a crossing should be established on Pickford Hill and/or Milford Hill as a matter of necessity and would like to see parking spaces created using areas of the grass verge. That would widen the traffic to two way on Pickford Hill.

The governors also suggest that the ‘no parking’ areas are expanded to allow two-way traffic on Pickford Hill.

Mr Clark added: “We anticipate the problem worsening with opening of the new secondary academy school on the Common Lane site and people using the Pickford Hill/Milford Hill route as a cut through.

“The safeguarding of children is our utmost concern and we would urge you to view this situation as seriously as we do.”