School road has very narrow, unsafe footpaths on the approach to Shaw Lane and access to Christ Church Infant and Nursery School. Particularly on Bin Day, many parents and small children must walk on the road with push chairs to access the school. In addition, there are many vehicles that drive above the speed limit down School Road, even during school change over times. We would like to petition the council to improve the quality and width of the footpaths, and implement traffic calming measures to improve safety on this portion of School Road.
Started by: Mark Lee
This ePetition ran from 23/07/2020 to 30/09/2020 and has now finished.
35 people signed this ePetition.
Dear Mr Lee
As your petition received 35 signatures it was therefore in accordance with the councils petition scheme dealt with as follows:
Petitions with fewer than 2,499 signatures will be considered and responded to by employees, within 28 days of receipt by the relevant service area. A summary of responses should be reported to Scrutiny Board, the relevant Cabinet Member(s), Shadow Leader’s office and, where appropriate, the relevant Ward Members.
Please see the following response from Nick Broomhall, Service Lead for Traffic and Road safety;
I am writing to you in response to your e-petition, that ran from 23rd July 2020 to 30th September 2020 that gained 35 signatures, which was as follows.
“We, the undersigned, petition the council to implement traffic calming measure on School Road, Tettenhall outside Christ Church Infant School and Nursery and to improve the quality of the footpaths to ensure they are safe for families walking to and from School.
School Road has very narrow, unsafe footpaths on the approach to Shaw Lane and access to Christ Church Infant and Nursery School. Particularly on Bin Day, many parents and small children must walk on the road with push chairs to access the school. In addition, there are many vehicles that drive above the speed limit down School Road, even during school change over times. We would like to petition the council to improve the quality and width of the footpaths and implement traffic calming measures to improve safety on this portion of School Road.”
As Service Lead Traffic and Road Safety, I hold responsibility for investigating the issues you have raised and responding to your petition. My response is set out below:
Following receipt of your petition the Traffic and Road Safety Team have carried out investigations to assess whether any road safety interventions, or highway modifications could be feasible at School Road. As with all enquiries the first stage involves interrogation of the number of personal injury accidents (PIA) along all parts of School Road that have occurred in the last five years. PIA’s are accidents logged by West Midlands Police where there has been any associated injury. Comparing PIA data is the nationally recognised methodology of comparing the safety record of roads and for prioritising road safety interventions.
Our investigations show that there have been five PIA’s along the whole length of School Road from its junction with Wood Road and Mill Lane. Four of the five PIA’s were classified as resulting in “slight” injuries and one classified as “serious”. The serious PIA involved an adult pedestrian crossing School Road early one winter morning and being struck by a vehicle travelling along the road. The driver of the vehicle was also injured slightly. A further slight pedestrian casualty was also reported when a vehicle collided with a person as it left a driveway. The two remaining slight casualties all involved two vehicles being in collision with each other. The PIA’s are at various locations along School Road, with none occurring near to Shaw Lane. The data records do not show any common causation factors to link the recorded PIA. Speed was not recorded as a contributory factor in any of the five PIA’s.
The Road Safety Team previously commissioned a speed survey on School Road near Long Lake Avenue to ascertain whether there were significant speed issues on School Road. The survey data was gathered using pneumatic tubes placed across the entire width of the road. The tubes recorded vehicle volumes and speeds in both directions over a minimum of 7 days/24 hours a day at each location. This methodology provides the most reliable and representative data to assess traffic speeds. A summary of the recorded speed data is shown in the table below:
Mean Speed (mph)/ 85% Speed (mph)
The mean and 85th percentile speed values are the nationally
recognised methodology used to compare speeds at differing
locations. The latter value is the speed at which 85 % of drivers
are travelling at or below. As can be seen from the above results,
the vast majority of drivers are travelling at appropriate speeds,
at or below the speed limit.
The speeds recorded above do not raise any significant concerns when compared to other roads of similar classification to School Road.
City of Wolverhampton Council as a Highways Authority have a responsibility to implement programmes of activities to reduce the number of personal injury accidents across the city. In undertaking this duty, the Road Safety Team must prioritise our limited resources to intervene at those locations where the road safety risk is highest based on statistical evidence. Responsibility for enforcing speed limits falls to West Midlands Police, who carry out various enforcement activities across the City including mobile speed camera operations and Community Speed Watch. The latter can be arranged by contacting the local area sergeant.
School Road is classified as a Local Distributor Road on Wolverhampton’s Highway Network and as such is an important connective route on the western side of Wolverhampton. This classification of road is expected to carry significant levels of traffic of all types including the frequent number 1 bus service. This classification of road would not usually be considered suitable for physical traffic calming measures such as humps, tables or similar vertical measures, due to related impacts on traffic flows.
In summary, having compared the above data with other roads across the City of Wolverhampton, the introduction of traffic calming could not be justified along this route; both in terms of statistical data and classification of School Road as a local distributor road. The speed survey data also suggests that most drivers are travelling at appropriate speeds. It is important to point out that there will usually be a minority of drivers who choose to travel at inappropriate speeds, wherever they drive. This unfortunately is not a situation that is unique to School Road but is replicated across both Wolverhampton and the rest of the UK.
Like most towns and cities across the UK, Wolverhampton’s network of roads has developed over many years. This has led to differing widths of roads and footpaths becoming established across the network. The width of the main carriageway on School Road in the vicinity of Shaw Lane is 6.2 metres. This allows for lane widths of 3.1 metres. The width of the footway at is narrowest point between Shaw Lane and Long Lake Avenue is 1.2 metres. 1.2 metres is considered an acceptable width for a footpath, although I do accept that on refuse collection day this width will be reduced further. This situation, is though, replicated on many roads across the city on days when household waste is collected and is only usually for a very limited period over the course of a typical week.
There is limited space available within the highway boundary at this location. The carriageway width is already narrower than is desirable for this type of road given that it carries frequent bus services in both directions. It is therefore not possible to widen the footpath on the southern side on School Road near Shaw Lane by reducing the carriageway width.
After careful consideration of all of the above information I cannot uphold your request to install traffic calming and widen the footpath on School Road.
This is not to say that other interventions cannot be considered, however these will need to be proportionate and affordable. I have therefore considered further what alternative interventions would be appropriate and have outlined my thoughts as follows.
As the 85th percentile speeds are slightly above 30mph I will ask for School Road to be included in our static 30mph speed reminder sign campaign where we display speed reminder posters on lamp columns along roads for a period of 3 months, on a rotational basis. These signs have been proven to be effective at reducing traffic speeds over a reasonable time period by cognitively influencing driver behaviour.
The Traffic and Road Safety Team will review school related signage and road markings on School Road.
We will also write to the residents of School Road to request that they place their wheelie bins considerately, taking into account the need of pedestrians on refuse collection days.
I trust the above is both informative and helpful. If you wish to discuss anything further, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Service Lead Traffic and Road Safety
City of Wolverhampton Council