Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones has written to the Chief Constable of North Yorkshire, Lisa Winward, following the recent accident on Yew Tree Lane which saw two pupils badly injured. Mr Jones is asking that mobile speed cameras are used on Yew Tree Lane and Green Lane as precautionary measures while the police investigate the cause of the accident.
In his correspondence with the Chief Constable Mr Jones is also asking if she will support traffic calming measures in the area including the introduction of a 20mph zone outside the entrances to local schools Ashville College and Rossett School.
Mr Jones commented:
I have been supporting residents in the area for some time in their requests for the county council to work with the police to reduce speeds. While we do not yet know if speed was the cause of this incident we do know that it is a real problem on the long straight roads near Rosset School and Ashville College.
There is already a 20mph limit outside the Pannal Ash Road entrance to Rosset School but no obvious speed signage on Green Lane nor outside the entrance to Ashville on Yew Tree Lane. This seems odd and is something I would like the county council – who are the highways authority – to look at immediately.
As a precaution too I have asked if police speed checks can be increased in the area while we await the outcome of the investigation. As soon as the investigation is completed any lessons must be identified and actions taken. Road safety around schools, all schools, is a priority.
Richard Sheriff is the CEO the Red Kite Learning Trust, that includes Harrogate Grammar School, with discussions now underway to have Rossett part of the Red Kite Learnign Trust, currently it is part of the Red Kite Alliance.
Richard Sheriff said:
I am delighted to read that Andrew is supporting the cause!
I chaired a large group of Harrogate Headteachers, local campaigners, representatives from Highways and the emergency services yesterday.
This was organised following the recent spate of serious incidents in proximity to our schools. We heard from school leaders who has been at the scene of recent accidents and were dealing with the consequences for the children and their families.
The group were united in wanting urgent action to make our streets safer for all users and in particular our children. There was agreement that this is a shared problem that needs a more strategic solution than just an extra road sign or two. We need to see a cultural change that makes speeding in urban areas as antisocial and unacceptable as drink driving.
The proposals for 20mph zones around schools was widely supported and the argument was put forward for extending this lower limit across the town. The point was made that at most times of the day the traffic congestion is so great drivers are unlikely to be able to reach that speed for most of the time.
Driving without due care and attention in areas with large numbers of school children, combined with the existing 30mph limits creates a hazard for all road users. The group highlighted the need for rapid action from NYCC and were pleased that representatives shared their sense of urgency. A further meeting to consider the Council’s planned responses is being organised for March.