Manchester City Council

Agenda item

Agenda item

Red and Amber School Crossings

Report of the Director of Highways

 

The red and amber school crossings programme is well underway with 44 of the 81 sites being complete or planned to be complete by the end of August and the remainder due for completion by the end of March 2020.

 

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Director of Highways that provided an update on the Red and Amber school crossings programme. The purpose of the works was to provide improvements at each school crossing so that their rating score was 50 points or less as per the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) "Census & Site Assessment" criteria that is the national standard. 

 

The Director of Operations (Highways) referred to the main points and themes within the report which included: -

 

·         There were eighty-one school crossings in the programme that required improvements and they were located across most wards in the city.

·         44 of the 81 sites being completed or planned to be completed by the end of August 2019;

·         The remainder due for completion by the end of March 2020; and

·         The delivery of the improvements was through a new highways team comprising of a Project Manager, Construction Planner, Traffic Engineer, Quantity Surveyor, and Clerk of Works.

 

Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were: -

 

·         Members questioned the accuracy of the information contained within the appendices, stating that some of the wards were listed incorrectly and noting that this had implications for notifications of works that were sent to Members;

·         Questioning the use of the term ‘completed’ when referring to schemes;

·         Thanking officers for their work to improve road safety at Park View School and that more needed to be done to promote and publicise with local resident the positive interventions undertaken by the Council to ensure the safety of school children;

·         Communications between the Highways Department and the Education Department needed to be improved;

·         Evaluation and assessment of improvements to road safety should be undertaken following completion of schemes and lessons learnt used to inform future schemes;

·         Road safety around schools should be continually reviewed and assessed following completion of schemes;

·         Clarification was sought regarding the 17 sites reported as being completed with a further 27 expected to be completed by the time of the committee meeting with a further 5 due by October and the remaining 32 sites being programmed for completion by March 2020; and

·         How were schemes prioritised and priority should be given to those rated as Red.

 

The Head of Design, Commissioning & PMO informed the Committee that the report had been prepared in August to comply with reporting deadlines of the Committee and that the information that had been provided to compile the report from the Project Team. He also advised that the information relating to the wards in which the schools were located had been supplied by the Education Department.

 

In response to comments regarding specific schemes and whether or not these had been completed The Head of Design, Commissioning & PMO said that these would be checked and offered to undertake joint inspections with the Members. He described that some sites were more complex than others and needed the involvement of other agencies to deliver them and that works had been delivered over the school holiday period.

 

In response to the comments made regarding communications he acknowledged that problems had been experienced in the past and this was being addressed. He said that local residents would be sent a letter advising them of planned road works, information on the Council’s website, letters to schools and email notification to relevant ward members.

 

The Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport stated that the rating of amber or red was largely irrelevant as the intention was to improve all of them to ensure they were safe for children. She stated that the works had been delivered to maximise delivery during the school holiday period, and that planning of the more complex schemes continued to ensure all 81 schemes were completed by the end of March 2020. Noting the comments regarding the accuracy of wards in the report she advised that this would be reviewed.

 

The Chair encouraged all Members to review the information provided within the report and if there were any discrepancies in regard to schemes listed as completed to address this to the Highways Department. She further requested that the information provided be reviewed to ensure it was accurate and this to be then shared with all Members. The Chair welcomed the commitment from the Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport to liaise with the Education Department to ensure ward information is consistent and accurate. She further stated that opportunities for promoting this positive work of the Council to ensure the safety of children be considered. 

 

Decisions

 

The Committee: -

 

1. Recommend that a future update report is provided for consideration at an appropriate time. This report will include information on all school crossings delivered as part of this programme and comparative data of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) scoring following delivery of a scheme;

 

2. Recommend that Officers undertake a joint inspection of schemes with ward Members if requested to do so.

 

Supporting documents: