Parents pushing for road safety measures to help get their children to two Tilehurst schools have been promised a new zebra crossing, subject to planning approval. There will also be a package of traffic calming measures on the approaches to the affected schools.
The Dee Road area is home to two schools: English Martyrs Catholic School and St Michael’s Primary School and parents have campaigning for a pedestrian crossing to be installed, with a petition attracting more than 1,000 signatures.
Reading West MP Alok Sharma has also been involved and attended a meeting between the parents and Cllr Jo Lovelock, leader of Reading Borough Council.
Now, the Council has announced the safety packages ahead of a meeting of the Traffic Management Sub-Committee on March 12.
The package of safety measures announced include :
- A new zebra crossing or crossings,
- Traffic calming measures on approaches to both schools,
- The possible installation of traffic islands within the hill section of Dee Road.
Cllr Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Transport, said: “It is clear from discussions with both schools, parents and the local community that there is a demand for a further package of safety measures along Dee Road. The Council is happy to respond with this commitment to install at least one zebra crossing at a suitable location along Dee Road.
“English Martyrs and St Michael’s are positioned a couple of hundred metres apart and the exact position of new crossings will need to be carefully considered, alongside the wider package of safety measures and the traffic calming measures which already exist, including the fact that part of Dee Road is a 20mph zone.”
As part of this crossing, the Council says that it will appeal for volunteers to act as lollipop persons and operate a school crossing patrol at English Martyrs School.
Cllr Page added: “The local Neighbourhood Action Group has also been looking at speeding problems further down Dee Road, and this will be the opportunity to consider a complete package of measures for the whole of Dee Road. Proposals will go out for public consultation, including further discussion with the schools and the local community, before being finalised.”
The petition asking the Council to install a zebra crossing outside English Martyrs Catholic School on Dee Road was presented to a meeting of the Council’s Traffic Management Sub-committee on 15th January.
A meeting followed on 28th January at St Michael’s School to discuss the concerns raised. The meeting heard concerns expressed by both schools relating to driver behaviour, including parents of children who attended both schools.
This included concerns about drivers pulling up onto the pavement, blocking driveways, reversing dangerously, overtaking, and excessive speeds along Dee Road.
At the time, Alok Sharma said: “Reading Borough Council will have been left in no doubt after this meeting that the only acceptable solution to the traffic concerns on Dee Road is to install a pedestrian crossing.
“I very much hope that the council will listen to the headteachers of St Michael’s and English Martyrs’ schools and to the hundreds of local people who have signed the petition.”