ePetition details

Speed Limit outside Sherrardswood School

We the undersigned petition the County Council to Reduce the speed limit on the A1000 outside Sherrardswood School from 70mph to a safe level of 30mph or lower.

Sherrardswood is a busy primary and secondary school and it is unfeasible that the speed limit is allowed to remain at its current level of 70mph. Turning out on to the road is dangerous and it is virtually impossible for staff and students to safely cross the road, making walking or cycling to school dangerous and impracticable.

Started by: Anna Wright (Sherrardswood School)

This ePetition ran from 28/09/2018 to 23/11/2018 and has now finished.

509 people signed this ePetition.

Council response

The executive member for highways, the local County Councillor and Highways Officers met with the lead petitioner on 6 November 2018, where the petition was formally presented and further details about the issues experienced by the staff, parents and other visitors to Sherrardswood School.

The School’s only access is from the A1000 Hertford Road. This section of the A1000 is segregated dual carriageway with a speed limit of 70 mph. The reported issues are that drivers are experiencing difficulties exiting from the School into the traffic lanes due to high speeds and poor visibility, the petition asks for the speed limit to be reduced to 30mph or less. Other issues raised were poor pedestrian and cycle links and poor access to the bus stops either side of the A1000, meaning alternative means of travel to the School are actively discouraged.

Under the current version of the County Council’s Speed Management Strategy document for the setting of speed limits, the current speed limit for Hertford Road is considered appropriate for the type of road, being an ‘A’ road part of a strategic route, a segregated dual carriageway, the rural nature with few bends and accesses.

In the long term, the A1000 is to be included in the South Centre Growth Transport Plan, which will review the route (including improvements to pedestrian and cycle routes as well as speed limits and other highway safety improvement) between Knebworth, Woolmer Green, Welwyn and Welwyn Garden City, so the issues raised through the petition will be considered through this process.

However, from the meeting, the following short term measures were agreed upon:

• County Officers agreed to carry out 24 hour/7day traffic speed volume surveys on both sides of the A1000 dual carriageway. This will give true indication of traffic speeds and the results will be analysed to see if there is any scope within the speed management strategy for any reduction in the existing speed limit. These speed and volume surveys have been ordered with the Council’s data team and are expected to be carried out before the end of the financial year.

• County Officers also agreed to carry out checks to the visibility splay at the junction school access road with the A1000 as there could be scope for the vegetation to west of the access to be cut back to improve forward visibility for drivers. Land ownership would also be checked to confirm whose land the vegetation originates and also to check if there is any scope for bus stop improvements to be made within existing highway boundary.

• The School also agreed to provide a School Travel Plan to include all the issues raised, as the purpose of a School Travel Plan is to set out a package of measures and actions to reduce the number of car journeys on the school run and to increase the number of active and sustainable journeys, such as walking and cycling.

Highway officers will keep the lead petitioner and County Councillor informed of any updates from actions agreed upon at the meeting.