A wish-list of improvements to enable young people to be able to get to Alnwick’s new high school safely has been drawn up.
The Duchess’s Community High School’s new building at Greensfield is due to be ready for September this year and it is felt that changes to some of the town’s transport routes need to be made before pupils start using the new school.
A Sustainable Travel Working Group, featuring town councillors and representatives of other organisations, was set up last September with the aim of looking at the wider transport picture in Alnwick.
It was decided that the first priority was to assess and make recommendations for walking and cycling routes to the new school site.
As far back as December 2014, when the plans were approved, Alnwick’s county councillors Heather Cairns and Gordon Castle both spoke in support of the application, but raised concerns about home-to-school travel.
And in September 2015, one of Alnwick Town Council’s priorities as part of its submission for funding from the county council’s Local Transport Plan was safe pedestrian and cycle routes through the town, particularly in the light of the new high-school location.
At last Thursday’s meeting of the town council, members endorsed a briefing note drawn up by the group which sets out a list of 12 priorities to ensure safe routes to school, which should be implemented before the start of the academic year.
The top-four priorities all concern the improvement or introduction of crossings at various key points, for example, on South Road and on Wagonway Road.
Priority list of improvements
1. Crossing (preferably light-controlled) on South Road between ambulance & fire station.
2. Two crossings on Wagonway Road (near Co-op and just before St James’s roundabout).
3. Crossing improvements at the Oaks roundabout.
4. Raised crossing by Willowburn Sports Centre.
5. Time-limited 20mph zones at Oaks roundabout, Willowburn Avenue and Clayport Bank.
6. Repairs to bollards and lighting at two crossing points on Clayport Bank.
7. Improvements to route from cemetery to Sainsbury’s car park.
8. Signage improvements.
9. Footpath resurfacing, particularly South Road.
10. Crossing improvements on Clayport Bank.
11. Segregated pedestrian/cycle route from Oaks roundabout to cemetery entrance.
12. Surfacing of former Cornhill to Alnwick railway and St James’ roundabout to school for pedestrian/cycling route.