School's traffic concerns raised with MP

Publish Date : 16 May 2024
Car Speed

Two reports on Ardmore School traffic have reached different conclusions.

Auckland Transport says its engineers surveyed traffic in response to Franklin Local Board and school concerns and found drivers were well-behaved.

But a police report called for action to avoid a serious harm or death incident.

Despite AT reporting no significant concerns, local board chair Angela Fulljames says there are issues around access the school will work on with the Ministry of Education.

“We can only advocate. Wairoa subdivision member Malcolm Bell is working on that and has met with the Papakura MP Judith Collins.

“While It’s reassuring AT found driver behaviour was good – as you would hope near a school – the police report says there’s limited safe parking and the gravel parking area leaves motorists exposed.

“On top of that, we believe further growth will increase traffic, including trucks.”

The police report found speeding compromised safety, calling for vegetation near the school to go, the gravel area west of the entrance to be enlarged, lower permanent speed limits, and more enforcement.

Ardmore School is on Papakura-Clevedon Road - a secondary arterial road carrying about 5,000 vehicles a day, with flows higher on weekdays, AT putting that down to commuter and business traffic.

Heavy traffic, a concern for the school, makes up about 540 trips a day. The Clevedon Quarry Resource Consent requires trucks to find reasonable alternative routes to passing the school.

“The speed limit is 80km/h but 40km/h in school hours, and has been for years, so there’s no excuse for speeding,” Bell says.

“I joined others to see traffic patterns and pedestrian behaviour, finding some congestion, mostly caused by driveway manoeuvres  and reverse parking.”

Fulljames says just as at all schools, children cross from between cars. “That underlines how important it is to take extreme care.”

AT says the existing conditions are sufficient to address any risks but last August it consulted on its draft Speed Management Plan, proposing a reduced limit in the area.

Late in April the school’s trustees issued a statement saying the infrastructure around the school was not sufficient for caregivers to safely pick up and drop off their children.

It called for the Ministry of Education to buy Bell Field, council-owned land next to the school. “That would be a safe, easy way to make every day safer for hundreds of children.”

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