What is Safe Routes to School (SRTS)?
SRTS – developed and funded by the National Transport Authority and An Taisce – aims to enhance the routes children use on their way to and from school by providing ‘front of school’ treatments to alleviate congestion, discourage traffic and improve access for children. SRTS provides enhanced walking / cycling infrastructure. The ultimate aim is to increase the number of children walking / cycling / scooting to school by providing safer routes.
Why is it happening?
A dramatic increase in traffic, poor parking of cars and children disembarking in the middle of the road in recent times has created safety hazards resulting in children being hurt in accidents and road collisions at the school.
When was the consultation with parents and the community?
In late 2021, the school over a period of weeks shared an open consultation on the school App & website for families to provide feedback on what they would like to see happen on the roads around the school. Children in the school were also consulted for feedback by the teachers.
Microsoft PowerPoint - SRTS.CK.BunscoilCobh.ParentSurvey.Charts.pptx
Cork County Council applied for planning in the spring which also allowed for open consultation with the wider community and neighbouring residents as per usual planning regulations.
What are the main changes?
The set down area in front of the school has been removed. Cars will no longer be able to stop at the front of the school.
The footpaths in the area have been widened and traffic calming infrastructure installed.
Two new pedestrian gates will be added – one on the hill at Norwood Park / Rushbrooke Manor and a second pedestrian entrance near the staff car park.
Child friendly bollards, seating and planting will further enhance the measures taken to improve the routes to school.
Cars are being discouraged from turning up the one-way system and are being encouraged to let their children walk / cycle / scoot.
The scheme is a national scheme. Similar works will commence at the other schools in town in due course.
I need to drive my child to school, where can I park my car?
Taking parental feedback from the consultation into account, additional spaces have been allocated below the tennis club for safe disembarking of children. The road crossing here has been narrowed to make it safer for children by slowing traffic down.
Cars can still park on the hill at Norwood Park – again the new pedestrian entrance here will help with faster access to school for children. As more and more families leave cars at home, more space will be freed up for those for whom the car is essential to get to school.
The consultation showed approx 30% of the students used a car to get to school currently.SRTS.CK.BunscoilCobh.ParentSurvey.Charts
Who is responsible for ensuring safe parking?
Each driver must take responsibility to park legally and safely, avoiding double yellow lines and being careful not to block roadways or entrances to residential areas (in particular at Martello, Norwood Park and Brookvale). Poor parking causes traffic which can lead to unsafe driving.
The rules of the road are enforced by An Garda Síochána and the County Council. Complaints about parking should be made to the relevant authorities.
What happens on wet days?
Wet days are inevitable in this climate. Please ensure your child comes to school with appropriate clothing in the event of rain. The rules of the road apply regardless of weather.
Can I park at the school gate?
There is no longer a set down area at the front of the school. There is one traffic lane. Cars will not be able to stop to allow children get out without blocking all the traffic. You must not attempt to do so. Drop your child safely in the park & stride areas (below the tennis club or Eurospar) or by parking safely elsewhere and allowing your child walk the short distance to one of the entrances to the school.
What about wheelchair / accessible spaces?
Accessible spaces are at the school gate for mobility impaired children only along with a space for designated Bus Éireann school transport taxis. Do not attempt to park in these spaces without a permit.
What about residents in the area?
Regrettably, parking at the school is causing significant disruption to our neighbours and has done for many years. Please leave the cars at home and allow your children to walk / cycle / scoot to school as much as possible.
If you must drive, use the park and stride areas in the first instance.
If you must park nearer the school, park safely and responsibly.
What can parents do to help?
Encourage your child to walk / scoot / cycle either from home or the park & stride areas.
Adhere to the rules of the road.
If you must drive to school, consider car-pooling.
Avoid the one-way system around the school to make the area much safer for children and keep the road clear for residents.
Support the school in ensuring the routes to school are safe for the children!