Highway works which will improve the overall road safety around Hawksworth Wood Primary School have been approved by council officers, writes Keely Bannister.
The off-site highway improvements are required after expansion of the Kirkstall school took place last year, which doubled its student numbers from 210 to 420 pupils.
A report approving the work outlines the improvements as:
- The introduction of No Waiting at Any Time waiting restrictions to remove obstructive parking and improve visibility for both pedestrians and drivers alike in the following locations;
a) Cragside Walk; b) Broadway/Cragside Walk/Cragside Close junction; and c) Broadway/Hawkswood Crescent junction.
- The introduction of a No Stopping, Monday to Friday, 8am till 4pm restriction on School Keep Clear markings located on Cragside Walk and Broadway, to remove obstructive parking and ensure the safety of the school children and other pedestrians alike;
- The construction of parking lay-bys on the western side of Broadway with associated bollards and footway works;
- The marking out of parking bays on the wide footway located on the eastern side of Broadway;
- The construction of an informal pedestrian crossing point on Cragside Walk with associated footway link, tactile paving and road markings; and
- The removal of the existing speed hump and the construction of a speed table to facilitate the aforementioned informal pedestrian crossing point.
The report goes on to list the impact the informal zebra crossing facility will have, with the positives identified as:
- Provide safer passage whilst crossing the road to all pedestrians, especially those with mobility issues, disabled people, parents supporting pushchairs and young and old people;
- Greater independence and choice for children travelling to school;
- Make it more pleasant to walk or cycle, encouraging a more healthy lifestyle;
- Improve quality of life for the local community;
- Remove undesirable parking in the vicinity of the school and crossing points, visibility for pedestrians wishing to cross and drivers approaching the waiting pedestrians is enhanced, thus improving crossing safety;
- The implementation of traffic calming features will assist in slowing driver speeds thus improving the road environment for all road users;
- The introduction of lay-bys and parking bays will regulate parking and remove the likely conflict between pedestrians and vehicles.
There are two negative impacts highlighted with a reduction in air quality due to lower speeds and displacement of existing on street parking, potentially to areas where it may create a problem.
However, a paragraph in the report looking at the works on the climate emergency concludes that there will be a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions:
“…We will remove undesirable parking in the vicinity of the school and around pedestrian crossing points and remove the potential conflict between pedestrians and motor vehicles, thus providing a safer environment around the school and in the surrounding residential area which will encourage more sustainable travel behaviours for all users and make it more pleasant to walk or cycle, encouraging a more healthy lifestyle.
“This will in turn result in a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as journeys to and from school by private cars are reduced and a modal shift to more sustainable travel is fashioned.”
Consultation was taken with the school, with Kirkstall councillors being supportive of the plans.
Various amendments to the parking restrictions were requested by local residents and these have been considered and included where possible.
Further consultation on the Traffic Regulation Orders will take place with the general public via notices on street lighting and a notice in the Yorkshire Evening Post and on the Leeds City Council website.
You can read the full report and view supporting documents by clicking here.