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Council to consider road safety measures around Eckington School

A council has agreed to make some road safety changes around a Derbyshire school after hundreds of people raised “significant concerns”.

In total, 401 people signed a petition calling for traffic calming measures such as a 20mph speed limit and pavement extension, near Eckington School in north Derbyshire.

The calls came after “many years” of concerns raised, in particular by parents using Main Road, between Eckington and Marsh Lane, with their children.

Petitioners said that a recent collision involving a student crossing the road to get to school had renewed their call for action.

The pavement alongside the route from the village of Marsh Lane to Eckington is not complete.

In several portions there is only one side of Main Road that has pavement and this side alternates from left to right in several parts – meaning that pedestrians have to repeatedly cross the busy route, which is 40mph in parts.

Many parents walk this route to take their children to Marsh Lane Primary School and Eckington School (a secondary).

Parents want one side of the road to have a continuous pavement.

The primary school has a pedestrian crossing outside it and the secondary has a zebra crossing.

In response, Derbyshire County Council officers have said that they will make some changes to improve road safety.

This includes agreeing to “investigate” painting double yellow lines around Main Road’s junctions with School Lane and Lightwood Road in Marsh Lane, and installing two pedestrian crossing warning signs – at a combined cost of £4,400.

However, they have ruled out lowering the speed limit from 30mph to 20mph saying it is “not feasible” because the route is in the open countryside and has a “good accident history”.

It also says that while the incomplete route between the schools is “not desirable” the cost of completing the footway continually down one side would be £150,000.

It says that it can only fund a limited number of highway schemes and cannot afford it now – but will consider it if money comes forward in the future.

Officers also ruled out other road calming measures such as speed bumps and chicanes due to the route’s “good accident history”.

The petitioners wrote: “The route on Main Road between Marsh Lane and Eckington has for many years been one of significant concern in terms of safety for pedestrians.

“Children from Marsh Lane daily use this route to get to and from the secondary school in Eckington.

“Many parents, however, will not allow children to walk to and from school due to safety concerns related to crossing the road.

“Many adults also use this route to walk to and from both villages.

“A recent collision when a student was crossing the road, involving a car and the student, has led a renewed call for the council to implement traffic calming measures, support regarding reducing the speed limit and the request to reconsider extending the footway.

“These proposals would allow safe pedestrian travel for local children and adults.”

Council officers wrote: “The B6056 Main Road has a very good accident history and good compliance with the speed limit. This is likely as a result of the three fixed speed cameras along the route, gateway treatments, school signing and the controlled crossings outside each school.

“The County Council receives daily requests for traffic calming in the form of vertical and horizontal deflection or vehicle activated signs, and to ensure these are treated on a consistent basis, a speed management protocol has been developed which, amongst other factors, highlights the required injury collisions to justify the expenditure of the Council’s very limited resources. Due to the very good collision history for Main Road, the Council will not be providing any additional traffic features to the ones already provided.

“Officers have, over the years, been approached by members of the public concerned over parking in and around the (primary) school and they have therefore agreed to investigate the possibility of providing short sections of double yellow lines around the junctions of Main Road with School Lane and Lightwood Road.

“This proposal will be added to a list of similar schemes which will be pursued at a later date. Officers have discussed this with the head teacher who welcomed the proposals as she is experiencing poor parking practices by parents which include dropping off children on the pedestrian crossing itself.”

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