Agenda item

Issues raised by Councillors with the approval of the Chair


The Chair allowed Members to raise various issues which would be submitted to KCC for actioning.  


Cllr Rana raised an issue on Whitehill Road.  He informed the board that he had visited Whitehill Primary School and met with the Headteacher Angela Carpenter and Business Manager Jenny Lumley to discuss the traffic issues surrounding the school.  He advised that there were several dangerous pinch points around the Whitehill Road and Sun Lane areas, plus by the main school entrance in Sun Lane, there was a blind spot which was dangerous and would benefit from a zebra crossing.  There was also a lot of traffic congestion along School Road as it headed towards Jellicoe Avenue.


Cllr Rana introduced Jenny Lumley (Whitehill Primary School Business Manager), to the Board who spoke regarding the issues the school had experienced with traffic surrounding the school.  She made the following points:


  • The school were experiencing severe issues with the traffic especially in Sun Lane, where the school’s main entrance was located.  The road was very narrow and the school drive headed straight onto Sun Lane. 
  • There were zig zag and yellow lines but these were mostly ignored.
  • Along this road footpaths were also narrow with some parents having to walk in the road at times. 
  • There was also a bottle neck point in the road, where Sun Lane met Smarts Road. 
  • The refuse collection truck on Mondays plus the bus route along Sun Lane, added to the congestion.
  • The school was very large with 620 children and was one of the only schools in the area that did not have a safe road crossing. Children were rarely able to walk unaccompanied to school and it was not possible for children to use bikes or scooters to get to school, as it was not safe to do so.
  • There was an increasing amount of intolerance, aggression and violence witnessed outside school due to the traffic congestion issues.


Cllr Rana informed the board that he had also met with Iona Radalski from Kent Safer Streetswho was going to liaise with KCC to see what could be done and would suggest a zebra crossing in Sun Lane and propose methods to slow traffic is School Lane around school drop off/pick up times.  Cllr Rana acknowledged this would require funding, so would need the support of both Cllr Meade and Cllr Ridgers. It was also suggested that railings be put in place to widen School Lane and offer protection for the children.  Both Cllr Ridgers and Cllr Meade were in support of this suggestion, subject to costs.


County Councillor Bryan Sweetland advised the board that the maximum grant that could be given was £10 000.  The cost of the works could be in between £10-15K and may exceed this, depending on whether lighting/power were also required.  He advised the board that there was a KCC leaflet which outlined what the grant included, that he would share outside the meeting.  


Cllr Jordan Meade addressed Jenny Lumley, stating that he would like to arrange a visit to the school to see the issues for himself.  He referred the school to a useful website where resources such as posters, and mock parking tickets could be printed. He advised that this site worked well for Timberwood School who had experienced similar issues. He suggested that this could also be something the children could get involved with.


The Parking & Environmental Enforcement Services Manager offered the board and school information, on how GBC could assist with the issues.  He suggested the following:


  • Road markings fell under the remit of Gravesham Borough Council, so if any zig zag or yellow lines needed to be refreshed this could be arranged to make them clearer to parents. 
  • He would speak with Gravesham’s Waste Management team to see if it was possible for the refuse trucks to avoid school drop off/pick up times on a Monday.
  • He would ensure parking enforcement officers were as visible as possible, but pointed out that due to the number of schools verses enforcement officers, they could not be present all the time.
  • If parents parked on footpaths or junctions this would be a police matter.  Engagement with Kent Police to work together and provide a joint presence, had been sought, but due to police resources this was not possible
  • If the school felt there were areas outside school, that would benefit from further restrictions this could be discussed outside the meeting.


The Dartford & Gravesham District Manager KCC addressed the board regarding the suggestion of installing barriers along School Road.  He advised this may prove difficult due to fibre optic cables being in place along the road. Jenny Lumley suggested that maybe bollards could be a suitable alternative, as these would stop cars from mounting the kerb and potentially harming the children.  The Dartford & Gravesham District Manager KCC confirmed that as this would only be a small cost, he would be happy to fund the bollards from his own budget.


Jenny Lumley thanked the board for their assistance on this matter.