Shamin Akhtar: Parent concerns led to move to improve road safety

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Following concerns expressed by the parent councils of the three primary schools in Haddington, East Lothian Council is seeking to set up an experimental traffic control which would stop vehicle traffic in two roads near schools during peak periods.

The proposal is for Victoria Road, near to Haddington Infant and St Mary’s RC primary schools, and Neilson Park Road, which leads to King’s Meadow Primary. Both these roads are cul-de-sacs and currently experience significant pedestrian road safety issues caused by drivers bringing vehicles too close to the school gates.

The behaviour of these drivers, who make dangerous turning and reversing manoeuvres and contribute to congestion, causes difficulties for the majority of the pupils and parents who walk or cycle to and from school.

This proposed action is intended to come into force in April and will continue to June. East Lothian Council has looked into this issue and believes that this action will be the first of its kind in the UK.

During the restricted access periods, residents of the two affected roads and blue badge holders will still be able to use their cars.

What the council is proposing is in direct response to concerns raised by parents themselves.

As there are designated parking areas linked to paths nearby for each of these schools, there are truly no good reasons for a very small minority to drive up to the school gates and cause congestion, delays and potentially dangerous actions for the majority of pupils and parents.

• Councillor Shamin Akhtar is education spokesperson at East Lothian Council