Release date: 12 September 2023
More than £420,000 worth of improvements were completed by West Sussex County Council this summer to boost active/sustainable travel options for children and families on the school run.
The aim is to increase children’s and parents’ confidence in choosing an active travel mode of transport, such as walking or cycling. The total of 14 schemes included significant safety improvements and were at:
- Barns Green Primary School: improving pedestrian links from Barns Green Village Hall to the school for greater road safety. A new footway link and safe crossing points have been provided in Munthum Drive, Chapel Road and Two Mile Ash Road. Estimated total cost: £102,000.
- The Forest School, Horsham: following consultation with the school and a review of the school bus arrangements, a designated layby has been built for buses to pull in and drop-off/pick-up passengers in Comptons Lane. A parking restriction for ‘No stopping except buses' will help reduce congestion at peak periods. Estimated total cost: £70,000.
- Some drivers were using a layby outside Chidham Parochial Primary School for three-point turns, causing safety issues when the rear of vehicles were overhanging the narrow footway. The layby has now been removed and the footpath widened. Previously, the “School Keep Clear” markings only covered part of the school frontage, so a Traffic Regulation Order was amended to cover the whole area. This was a community-initiated project delivered via the County Council’s Community Highways Scheme process. Estimated total cost: £71,000.
- A new signalised pedestrian crossing has been installed at the request of the local community to improve safety for school children from Ormiston Six Villages Academy and residents crossing the busy A29 at the junction with Lime Avenue in Westergate. Even in the quieter school holidays, sensors recorded the new crossing was used more than 100 times in just three days. Estimated total cost: £120,000.
Other schools were also supported with School Safety Zone (SSZ) schemes. These comprised installing / improving road signage on the approaches to schools to warn drivers about the increased numbers of vulnerable road users likely to be present at drop-off and pick-up times.
The SSZs were completed at: Bosham Primary School, Sidlesham Primary School, East Preston Junior School, Worthing High School, The Globe School in Lancing, West Sussex Alternative Provision College in Lancing, St Peter’s Primary School in Cowfold, Tanbridge House School in Horsham, Rudgwick Primary School and Plaistow and Kirdford Primary School. The estimated total cost is £64,000.
Joy Dennis, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: "These county-wide schemes, totalling more than £420,000 worth of improvements, show our commitment to increase parents’ and children’s confidence in opting for active/sustainable travel choices on the school run.
“As well as all the health benefits active travel brings, leaving the car at home and opting to walk, cycle or scoot to school helps to reduce congestion near the school gate. The schemes align with the ambitions of both Our Council Plan and West Sussex Transport Plan in supporting active and sustainable travel.”
Funding for the improvements comprised a mix of developer funds (Section 106 monies) and County Council capital investment.