Petition - Safe crossing on Whitsbury Road, Fordingbridge

Response from Hampshire County Council, December 2018

Thank you for your letter and enclosed petition submitted 21 November 2018.

A response to your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act was sent to you on 14 November 2018 along with the relevant traffic survey data held by the County Council. This data includes a site survey for a School Crossing Patrol site carried out in November 2017. As explained in previous correspondence the initial assessment of the traffic data and volumes of pedestrians and vehicles indicate that this location does not meet the numerical criteria for the introduction of a controlled crossing facility. However recruitment is ongoing for a School Crossing Patrol for this location with potential candidates being considered over the coming weeks.

My road safety education team deliver specific road safety education and training aimed at helping children improve their road skills, and they work closely with partner organisations such as Hampshire Constabulary and Hampshire Fire and Rescue to coordinate activities. The team actively promote their programmes to schools and Fordingbridge Junior School has received Bikeability cycle training. The Junior Road Safety Officer (JRSO) programme takes a child centred approach to road safety education and enables schools to teach road safety messages and raise awareness within the school community, but Fordingbridge Junior School are not currently participating in this programme. I have attached a link to the information on our web site which may be of interest to the school.

My School Travel Planning Team have also been working with Fordingbridge Infant and Junior Schools. This process enables schools to identify road safety concerns and locations where children and parents have most difficulty, and the parents and children can make a valuable contribution to the development of a travel plan. The schools are in the process of gaining their bronze school travel plan award under the STARs national award scheme.

In terms of setting speed limits, we comply with Department for Transport criteria, which has some emphasis on the existing mean speeds and safety history. The guidance also encourages that speed limits should be self-explaining and self-compliant, and it is therefore important that we set speed limits to reflect the road layout and conditions. In this case the 30mph on Whitsbury Road has been set appropriately to reflect the road conditions and extension to the speed limit is not justified at this time.

The County Council combines this road safety education and travel planning initiatives with targeted highway and transport improvements to improve safety in the road environment around school sites. More generally, traffic and safety measures are focussed as a priority on locations where there is a history of road casualty collisions. Other locations are considered, and we investigate all road safety concerns raised with us, but with limited resources it is not possible to implement all requested changes. Where funding from other sources exists, for instance provided by developments in the area to mitigate their traffic impact, then it may be possible to provide requested improvements that are not priorities for the Council’s own limited resources. With this potential future opportunity in mind, I will add this request to the list of sites for future consideration as funding permits.

Yours sincerely

Councillor Rob Humby
Executive Member for Environment and Transport