Staldon Road set to close at school run times

Plan of proposed SSEZ
Plan of the proposed School safe environment zone (SSEZ)
The road outside East Wichel Primary School will close at school-run times from February or March, if plans by Swindon Borough Council get approved.

The council has opened an ‘informal consultation’ on its plan for a ‘School safe environment zone’. The proposal would see Staldon Road close for 75 minutes every morning and afternoon, Mondays to Fridays including school holidays, between its junction with Trevello Road to just past the entrance to the car park shared by the school and community centre. As part of the scheme, the road will be narrowed at each end of the zone, with signs and bollards.

The only vehicles that will be allowed access to the zone between 8.15 am and 9.30 am and between 2.45 pm and 4 pm will be blue badge holders, residents of Staldon Road, and teachers accessing the car park. Delivery drivers, and carers and utility companies working in the street will also be exempt. The council expects other tradespeople and visitors to avoid using the street during these times. Residents of Staldon Road will have to apply for permits — limited to two per household — to prove they have the right to access the road when the zone is in operation.

Detail of SSEZ
Detailed plan showing bollards at entrance to the SSEZ.
Swindon Borough Council says

“displacement of parking is a possible side-effect as it is not possible for all parents/carers to walk to school. However, efforts will be in made to keep this to a minimum. Where possible, Swindon Borough Council will be working with local businesses to identify alternative parking locations for parents/carers to use.”

It’s not obvious to us where those ‘alternative parking locations’ would be, other than on the neighbouring streets. There’s also no exemption in the proposals for users of the Stoweaway Community Centre — access to the community centre’s car park is included in the zone.

If approved, the zone will operate initially for 18 months, from February or March 2021, and then be reviewed. Residents can comment on the proposals until 18th January, using a form on Swindon Borough Council’s website, where further details of the scheme can also be found.

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