Following the success of Guernsey's first temporary 'School Street', a road near St Martin's Primary will continue to be closed to through traffic at set times for an official trial.
The decision was made to close La Route des Coutures on school days, between 08:30 and 09:00 and 14:45 and 15:15 for a week-long feasibility study before Easter after requests from children attending the school.
The States Traffic and Highways Services team arranged the week-long trial after pupils raised concerns around safety during school drop-off and pick-up times.
The Primary School is the largest on the island in terms of pupil numbers, with a catchment area stretching into the neighbouring parish of St Andrews.
Clare Giles, St Martin’s Primary School Headteacher, said they'd been really pleased by the initial trial and hope it will be made permanent.
Pictured: Headteacher of St Martin's Primary School, Claire Giles.
“The School Street has been very well received by the school community," she said.
"The school undertook a survey following the week-long trial and found that over 80% of the members of the school community were in favour of making this initiative permanent, which highlights the positive response."
Ms Giles said the initiative is down to pupil-pressure after they raised concerns for their own safety and she praised the children involved in achieving it.
“It’s important to remember that this was all started off because pupils were concerned about the risks they encountered during drop-off and pick-up times around school and they wanted to do something about it. This has now resulted in a much longer trial, so it’s fantastic for the pupils to see their voice being heard on issues that matter, enabling them to play their part in improving safety.”
The official trial - rendering La Route des Coutures closed to through traffic during school drop-off and pick-up times - will run for nine months at least, with signs being put up to let motorists know of the new rules.
Homeowners can access properties at all times and cyclists will be able to ride through, but other traffic using the road won't be able to between 08:30 and 09:00 and 14:45 and 15:15 on school days for the duration of the trial.
Paul James, Road Safety Officer, said the initial trial had gone well and he's confident it has improved safety in the area.
Pictured: The School Street initiative is intended to enable children (and accompanying adults and siblings) to approach and leave school safely.
“Improving safety for all road users, particularly vulnerable road users, is one of the objectives of our Integrated Transport Strategy," said Mr James.
"Before the trial we noted instances of high speed in the surrounding area. One in every six cars exceeded the 25mph speed limit during the drop-off and pick-up times, with one car travelling at over 50mph shortly after school pick-up time. Therefore, we were really pleased when we were approached by St Martin’s Primary School about the idea of a School Street.
“It’s one thing to have an idea in theory, but it was really helpful to see this initiative in practice during the week-long trial, which showed that the surrounding road network was able to cope with diverted traffic with minimal disruption. Significantly, this initiative should serve to improve access to schools by providing safe, healthy and efficient travel options, encouraging active travel.”
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