What is Safe Routes to Schools?
The Safe Routes to School programme has been developed by the National Transport Authority (NTA) and Green-Schools, An Taisce to provide support for schools to increase walking and cycling as the preferred travel mode where possible.
It has been established with a focus on Active Travel to schools where attention will be given to improving four fundamental areas of;
Road Safety - “Congestion at the school gates is another particularly serious problem, with parents often double-parking, or parking on yellow lines to drop their children off. The result is incredibly dangerous: small children weaving in and out of parked and moving cars at the school gate, many of whom are too small to be seen by drivers pulling in and out.” (CEO Road Safety Authority, 2018)
Environmental e.g. Emissions, noise, fuel consumption
Health e.g. Reduction in opportunities for active travel, negative impacts on air quality
Society e.g. Impacts on public realm and community through blocking of paths, driveways and roads, traffic jams, comfort of residents and school community during the commute.
The focus has been on the improvement of safety and the quality of the environment at the school gate, to address issues identified during audits and agreed with the school principal during the preparation of the designs.
These designs have been developed based on best practice and guidance which addresses the issues raised and have been presented to the Elected Members here in Arklow.
They will highlight the presence of the school entrance and address known safety and environmental issues associated with traffic congestion in the vicinity of schools for many years, which have also been identified from surveys of parents and discussions with the school principal.
Details of works
- Installation of pencil bollards
These bollards are recommended traffic management features which prevent people from parking on footpaths immediately outside the school, identify school zones and highlight the presence of the school gate, improving safety.
- Colour Contrast Road Surfacing
This will increase awareness of the school on approaches
- Installation of bollards for traffic management
These will improve traffic management in accordance with the relevant guidance, for areas identified as problematic during audits for areas close to the school on primary walking links.
Provide gateways at start of school zone to reduce speeds and highlight the presence of the school on each side of road, together with a School Zone Banner which will be uniquely identifiable to the school zone areas.
Schools zones will look to create distinctive and consistent visual identity with the use of coloured carriageway surfacing, road markings and distinctive banners and signs.
- Public realm improvements
The use of planters and street furniture to provide an improved street scape and environment and look for opportunities to improve safety and reserve space for future improvements.