16th September 2011

Proposed Improved Cycle/Pedestrian Links to Muscliff School

The council's Local Transport Plan programme this year has included funding to improve links to Muscliff school and is part grant funded by Sustrans the sustainable transport charity. The provision of 2 new zebra crossings and an improved pedestrian/cycle link from Heather Close/Ashurst Road was based upon previous studies considered by the council's road safety officers and Muscliff School travel plan co-ordinator. There has also been strong support expressed in a petition organised by parents and residents to provide a crossing linked directly to Muscliff Park. Speed measurement surveys carried out on Shillingstone Drive indicated that 85% of vehicles were travelling at 40mph or above and so speed cushions have been included on the approaches to the new zebra crossing to control vehicle speeds and will also protect the existing informal crossing. Without the additional speed cushions we could not include this sought after zebra crossing.

A meeting was held recently at the Town Hall Annexe to discuss the proposals with ward members prior to consultation with the public and this was attended by Councillor Whittaker and Councillor Anne Rey, who expressed their support for the introduction of the zebra crossings and understood the need for traffic calming measures, though were concerned that more vehicles may use Stratton Road. Cllr Whittaker also said he had concerns regarding the link to Heather Close as this may cause an unacceptable conflict between pedestrians and cyclists at its junction with Broadway Lane. A short extension to the existing 20mph zone was also discussed.

The concerns expressed at the meeting have received further consideration as follows:

  • i) Given the limited measures proposed and nature of Stratton Road it is not expected that this would offer an attractive alternative for motorists, if this should however prove to be a problem, further measures could be considered at a later date.
  • ii) To reduce conflict at the link to Heather Close, detailed proposals are still being worked up and will be forwarded once complete, but they may include widening of the footway on Broadway Lane in the vicinity of the link, providing drop kerbs to allow cyclists to enter from Broadway Lane and Heather Close. A central break in the barrier and cutting back of adjacent shrubs to improve visibility for all users to enhance accessibility and personal security. The paved areas will remain as shared use only.
  • iii) The extension of 20mph zone to include Stratton Road may require additional features being installed in the side road and not achieve any real change in motorist behaviour. It is recommended therefore that the 20mph zone not be changed at this stage.

I attach the latest feasibility proposal plan and will be pleased to receive any comments you may have regarding the proposals.

Click on the PDF icon to view the Muscliff Links to Schools Improvements Map.

The traffic calming element will require more formal consultation and this is programmed to take place at the end of August/early September subject to members agreement. We currently aim to begin construction of the proposals during October/November subject to the successful outcome of consultation.