Traffic and Parking
Why does school have a Travel Plan?
We are aware that the school generates considerable traffic at the beginning and end of the school day. Many of our pupils come to school by bus and many of the others live a considerable distance from school. Our ability to encourage 'green' travel to school is limited. We do encourage car sharing wherever possible.
The roads near to school are narrow and for much of their length North Road and East Road have no footpath. Thoughtless parking can cause problems for local residents and some manoeuvres can obviously represent danger to pedestrians (who are also more numerous at these times and many of whom are small and therefore more difficult to notice).
Key concerns which our plan aims to manage are:
1. Reversing (it is more difficult to see small children when doing this)
2. 'U' turns
3. Driving past the parked buses (it is very difficult to see oncoming traffic and pedestrians)
5. Pupils disembarking from a vehicle into the road without adequate supervision
5. Inconsiderate parking
These aims, and the plan to manage them, have been shared with the Police who have commended them as exemplar.
One Way System
There is no one way system in Tetford but we ask as many parents as possible, when dropping off or collecting pupils, to pass the school by approaching along North Road so that the school is on your right. This means that there is less congestion and we minimise the danger from turning vehicles or passing vehicles. It also means that cars park on the LEFT side of the road opposite school and drivers get out on the offside of the vehicle, thereby being in a better position to supervise their children.
The voluntary one way system ONLY applies to the length of road outside of the school which has between the school traffic entrance and the school pedestrian gate which has zig-zag marking on it and is ONLY requested from 8.45am to 9.00am and from 3.20pm until the buses have departed.
Another advantage of a one way system is that no vehicles turn within the key area outside of the school premises. As turning usually involves reversing we are thereby increasing safety - the chances of hitting a small child are greater in reverse when visibility is reduced.
Please note that the buses and taxis travel in the opposite direction to make dangerous overtaking of parked vehicles less necessary and to avoid children who travel by bus children needing to cross the road. Once the buses have departed after the school day there is no longer a need to observe the one way system.
Vehicles using our 'Park and Stride' scheme at the Hamilton Hall should, in order to maximise safety, enter from the end of the hall nearest to school and exit from the end furthest from school (thereby keeping the hall on their right). This makes the car park safer and reduces the risk of accidents. Drivers using the Hamilton Hall should not approach from North Road as they do not have to pass the school premises at all and to suggest that they use the 'one way' system would actually INCREASE traffic near to the school.
The system outlined, if observed by all, reduces risk in the key area of the village at the busy period. It also minimises traffic flow and, by NOT requesting one way beyond the key area, avoids the potential increase in speed that can result from a fully operational one way road.
We are unable to offer parking on the school premises (other than for applicants with special access requirements who will be required to display a valid permit). The school car park has limited spaces which are managed and reserved for permit holders.
When parking in the village please show consideration for our neighbours. We have an arrangement with the Hamilton Hall to be a ‘Park and Stride’ site (so you can park there and make the short walk to school). The zigzags outside school should not be used for parking or dropping off. The staff car park should not be used as a drop off or collection point at the beginning and end of the day or Wrap Around Care without prior consent to allow for special circumstances (for which a dated permit will be issued) as it is a pedestrian route and there is a risk of accidents. All vehicles which are permitted to use the car park should observe a 5mph speed limit (walking speed). The car park is 'zoned' with staff allocated areas in which to park in order to avoid parking on the road outside the school.
Posters are displayed in school to remind all visitors of the need to park with consideration and there is a reminder on the Calendar page of the website.
It is most unlikely, given the minor road through the village and the generally very light traffic, that a 'School Safety Zone' legal limit of this nature will ever be adopted. We are aware, however, that at the two ends of the school day the majority of the traffic is generated by school and therefore a voluntary system is, if observed by all, a strong step in the right direction. The speed limit in Tetford is 30 mph but as there are no pavements in many parts of the village and the road is narrow and winding the staff respect a voluntary 20 mph limit between 8.30 am and 9.00 am and between 3.20 pm and 3.50 pm. We invite parents to do the same to protect our children and community.
We encourage parents, where possible, to car share. Whilst we cannot tell you who lives at what address (due to the constraints of the Data Protection Act) we do aim to make it as easy as possible to find possible car share arrangements. If you would like to find a car share please let us know. We will try to broker those who have expressed interest without disclosing addresses!
We have, with the support of the local authority, installed a covered cycle rack to encourage the use of bicycles for the journey to school. Where children have not completed 'Bikeability' cycle training we prefer a parent, guardian or nominated adult to accompany them when cycling to ensure their safety. Cycle training is undertaken in Year 5 to ensure that such pupils have the opportunity to be better prepared for cycling in traffic. Children who cycle to school will be expected, by the school and their families, to wear a suitable helmet, respect the rules of the road and implement the lessons taught in 'Bikeability'.
A full reminder of all of these initiatives is included in the first letter of the school year every September and periodically through the year. A routine visit from the Police soon after the plan became operational resulted in the visiting officer offering the comment 'You have really thought about this - if only every school was so safe'.
Copies of the School Travel Plan can be obtained from school.