- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Categories: Feature, Media
A campaign to get the speed limit lowered outside one of the county’s biggest schools stepped up a gear this week.
Mid and west Wales Labour AM Joyce Watson visited Pembroke School on Monday (June 10th) to support a bid to reduce the speed limit from 40mph to 30mph outside the school. Pembroke School has been in discussions with Pembrokeshire County Council over reducing the speed limit for eight years, said headteacher Frank Ciccotti. “The argument seems to be that there’s no point putting restricted speed limits in place because drivers will not stick to it,” he said.
“We have argued that this means there’s no point having speed limits anywhere.”
Mr Ciccotti said it was not unusual for people to travel “at least 50mph” outside the school and talked of three accidents involving pedestrians and vehicles. “Traffic conditions are difficult – a lot of people pick up their children in cars and and there are several hundred students who depart from each of the school entrances within a five minute window and pupils are particularly vulnerable at that time.”
There is a path across the road from the school which was built as a safe route to school. “The irony is you have to cross a 40mph road to access it,” Mr Ciccotti added.
Mrs Watson, who has campaigned for 20mph zones outside schools during school hours, said: “If a child is hit by a car travelling at 40mph, the chance of survival is just 10%. “Reducing the speed by 10mph brings a huge increase in the chances of survival at 80%.
“To be fair to Pembrokeshire County Council, it is one of the better counties at pushing schemes to reduce speed limits outside schools. The council is at the top end so I do not understand why it will not do that here.”
Pembroke School resources committee chairman and governor Paul Culyer said: “There is concern from parents. I think people think it’s inappropriate to have a 40mph zone outside the school. “It’s certainly something the governors are concerned about and raised with the local authority. We are trying to make some changes here.”
Council ‘shares school’s concerns’
A Pembrokeshire County Council spokesman said the council shared the school’s concerns, and traffic calming measures and footpaths had already been introduced.
The spokesman added: “The council’s view is that signage alone is not the answer and believes that any further traffic management measures should only be implemented if there is a belief they will be successful and actually lead to lower speeds.”
Possible changes being looked at include the introduction of mini roundabouts on the Pembroke Road / Ferry Lane and Bush Hill / Buttermilk Lane junctions.
Caption: SPEED RESTRICTIONS: Pembroke School resources committee chairman and governor Paul Culyer, mid and west Wales AM Joyce Watson and headteacher Frank Ciccotti.