Edinburgh roads: Parents voice road safety fears over lack of signs at new Victoria Primary school

A new school will have to wait a year for safety road markings in front of the building after the council forgot to process the necessary traffic order.

By Ian Swanson
Thursday, 17th March 2022, 4:55 am

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Parents have voiced fears about speeding traffic near the new Victoria Primary at Leith's Western Harbour and say there have been several near misses involving children on their way to school.

And now one local councillor is calling for an official investigation into the council's omission.

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The school relocated from Newhaven Main Street in January.

But while they are delighted with the new building, parents say there are no triangular warning signs on the approach to the school, no zig-zag markings, little enforcement of the 20mph speed limit and no travel plan establishing safe walking routes to the school.

Ann Wheeler, chair of the school's parent council, said they had wanted a travel plan in place before the new building opened because many children had to cross the busy Lindsay Road on their way to school.

"We've had several near-miss incidents, particularly involving children with additional needs."

School warning signs have not yet been installed at the new Victoria Primary.

And she said many people driving near the school might not be aware of it without warning signs.

"A lot of the flats are short-term lets so people who are just coming and going and when it opened the school wasn't completely finished so it wasn't obvious to the residents or to the people coming in to use David Lloyd leisure centre at speed that there was a school.

"There's a 20mph limit but I don't think it's really policed.

"And there's a lack of triangular warning signs. They could have recycled the one that was outside our old school."

When Jim Campbell, Tory councillor for Forth ward, raised the parents' concerns with the council he was told a travel plan survey is due to start next week and a speed survey on Newhaven Place will be carried out shortly.

But on the zig-zag markings, officials said: "During the planning of the school it had been agreed that School Keep Clear markings would be provided along the front of the school on Windrush Drive and at the Newhaven Place entrance to the school. Unfortunately, the Traffic Regulation Order necessary to introduce these was not subsequently promoted and we will now have to undertake this process so that enforceable restrictions can be put in place. The statutory process associated with this can often take 12 months or more to successfully complete."

Councillor Campbell wants an investigation into the failure to promote the traffic order. He said: “I’ll be writing to the chief internal auditor asking for that. It's just basic – you're building a new school, you sort out the road signs and safety measures around it.”

Transport convener Lesley Macinnes said the travel plan survey for the school would go live on March 21.

“We appreciate additional concerns around road safety raised by parents and we’ll soon be carrying out a speed survey at Newhaven Place to inform whether further speed reduction measures are needed, while warning signs and directional signage from Lindsay Road are being investigated.

“We fully intend to introduce School Keep Clear markings on Windrush Drive and we’re about to begin promoting the Traffic Order so that enforceable restrictions can be put in place.”

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