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Travel Plan Activity

Letter from Mrs Purton

You may have seen in the news recently that Shortlands Village and surrounding area is to benefit from the TfL Liveable Neighbourhoods Scheme ( www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/17477266.tfl-liveable-neighbourhoods-announced-and-Shortlands-wins-big-bid/?ref=mr&lp=4 ). This is an exciting scheme and will improve transport systems due to reduced parking on bus routes, as well as making the Station area a safer and more attractive place to visit. 

As a local school, we have been included in the consultation process, and have been able to make comments regarding the wider area, and issues we are aware of within it. We very much hope to continue to work with TfL and Bromley Council in the future on further local developments. 

This is a matter of importance to us, and we have for the past decade been working to make the area around our school safer for the pupils, parents and staff, as well as the local community. Our School Travel Plan work enables us to lobby the council for safe road crossings, better lighting, road signage, parking enforcements - and any other improvements that we as a school community feel the need for. It is due to the support of the St. Christopher's parents, that we were able to keep our school crossing patrol when they were being cut across the borough. 

Obviously, all of this will only work if we have the support of all members of our school community. We rely on you to let us know of any issues you encounter, such as dangerous tree roots or broken paving slabs on a walking route, areas which 'flood' in bad weather and make it difficult to cross the roads, junctions where visibility is poor and there are no pedestrian refuges when crossing roads. We will be submitting our 2019 application for our STP during the early part of the Summer Term, so if there are any issues you would like us to know about please submit them to Mrs Purton in writing, or by email ( alixpurton@stchristophersthehall.org.uk ) before the Easter holidays. 

We have a very good working relationship with the planning and road safety departments at Bromley Council, so our concerns are taken seriously. However, our good work as a community will be undermined if we receive negative comments from local residents, or members of the wider community if we are perceived to be causing safety and traffic issues ourselves. We would therefore ask you all to think carefully when parking your cars and ensure that there is clear access to residential driveways, and sufficient room for buses to pass in both directions on Bromley Road. If you can park away from the school and walk the final part of the journey as a Park and Stride option, that will really help the traffic situation in the immediate area. This applies at morning drop off and evening collection, but also at lunchtime for KG pick up. Although our current zigzag enforcement only applies at peak times in the morning and evening, we are campaigning to have this reinstated as an all day enforcement, and extending it into the evening beyond club collection time. Parking on the zigzag lines at any time makes visibility for other vehicles difficult, as well as causing restricted vision for pedestrians crossing the road. Staff have also encountered difficulty in leaving the car park after the end of the school day, when parents are parked on the zigzag lines immediately in front of the school. 

We have pupils currently on a residential trip, and another next week, as well as various day trips planned in the coming months. When arriving back at school, it is essential for the safety of the pupils, that the coach can park with the door opening on to the pavement on the same side of the road as the school. We are not permitted to place cones in the road to reserve a space for the coach, as it is a public highway. On many occasions we have found that coaches have nowhere to park, and end up parking as far away as the petrol station. This is a difficult and unnecessary situation for the staff and pupils, as it means they have to carry all the luggage from the coach back down the road to the dismissal point at school. If you are collecting a child from any trips, or are in the area at the time when they are due to return, please ensure that a large space is left along the fence of the school field for the coach. 

We look forward to updating you with further news regarding local safety and improvements. 

Alix Purton