Oak Cottage was Least Popular and Least Effective of the Three Council Trials
Solihull Council has decided to make the traffic restrictions near Oak Cottage School permanent. This includes the permanent 20mph limit, and the ban on non-residents using roads in the zone during morning and afternoon school times.
The 18 month trial has been underway for 16 months, so the Council had to decide whether to end it or make it permanent.
A majority of residents in this zone thought the scheme had made a positive impact (65%) and it should be continued (81%), however these figures were lower than in the other two trial areas.
A New Council Report Reveals
● More, shorter car journeys now
● Sites like Oak Cottage aren’t suitable
● Lack of enforcement likely to continue
● Parents dislike this scheme
Details from the Council's report
Planned Improvements at Oak Cottage
- During school holidays the driving restrictions will be lifted, using new signage.
- Residents' passes will be made larger and more visible to help self-monitoring by residents and aid Police enforcement.
- A revised road layout, to reduce the speed and volume of traffic, is proposed at the junction of Bryanston Road and Cheltondale Road.
- Further supporting traffic measures on Greswolde Road are also being investigated.
Streets near the School are Clearer
Residents near the schools clearly had problems at school times before the School Streets trial. Issues with clogged streets and pavement parking have been reduced.
Lack of Enforcement
The Council report admits there's been very little enforcement of either the driving restrictions or the 20mph speed limit. It also says that this situation is unlikely to change much, due to Police budgets and the inability of the Council staff to fine offenders.
We expressed concerns before the scheme began about the traffic problems simply being displaced to locations just outside the exclusion zone.
It’s good to note that the Council report said that "whilst there has been some minor displacement the overall impact has been minimal".
Their survey of pupils said that 29% are now driven to just outside the zone and walk in from there.
Parents Dislike the Scheme
Parents of children at Oak Cottage clearly do not like School Streets; only one in five of them “support the scheme”. In contrast, 87% of the parents at the Marston Green trial support it.
Oak Cottage is a Poor Location for School Streets
The Council report reveals that the Oak Cottage location was a poor choice; "Oak Cottage faces its own unique challenges."
Future expansion of the scheme will avoid locations like Oak Cottage.
Officers have identified eight other schools where similar restrictions could be introduced. None of the proposed schools cover such a large area or put restrictions on through-routes.
The new proposed locations all have "alternative parking provision" to minimise the impact of displaced cars on surrounding roads, but Oak Cottage doesn't.
More Parents Use Cars than Before
A major aim of the project was to encourage children out of cars and instead to walk, cycle or scooter to school.
A third of pupils now come by car for at least part of their journey to school, but at least most of them are walking some of the way.
You can read Council’s full report here
Please get in touch via the Olton Ward page if you have comments to make about any of these points.