Improving Road Safety around Schools
- Meeting of Neighbourhoods and Environment Scrutiny Committee, Wednesday, 7th November, 2018 10.00 am (Item 47.)
Report of the Operational Director of Highways
Members of the Scrutiny Committee requested to receive an update to the report that had been considered by the Committee at the meeting of 18 July 2018.
The Committee considered the report of the Operational Director of Highways that provided Members with an update to the report that was considered by the Committee at their July meeting.
The Chair opened this item by apologising to the residents of Manchester that this item continued to be brought back to the Committee. She explained that this was an important subject to ensure the safety of all children across the city, and to date the Committee had not been satisfied with the information that they had been provided with.
Officers referred to the main points and themes within the report which included: -
· A response to the inaccuracies and comments sent by Members following the July meeting and whether these have these been implemented in the plans;
· A full list of work programmed and the associated timescales in phase 1; and
· Information on what consultation with members, schools and residents would happen and the time frame for this activity.
Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were: -
· Members expressed their dissatisfaction with the lack of consultation with schools regarding any proposals;
· Dissatisfaction with the lack of responses to enquires raised with Officers when seeking clarification on proposed schemes;
· Questions were raised as to how policy and assessment criteria had been applied, commenting that there was no confidence that these had been applied correctly or consistently;
· Frustration that this work still had yet to be implemented, commenting that the safety of children needed to be prioritised;
· There appeared to be a failure in communications between the Highways Department and the Education Department that had contributed to delays in delivering road safety improvements;
· A question was raised as to why one school had been identified for works, commenting that it was not felt to be appropriate.
The Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport said that she took full responsibility for the lateness of the report and for it not coming back to the September meeting, and accepted that the Highways Department needed to work more closely with the Education Department. She said that a Project Lead had been appointed to oversee this work and the Council was fully committed to improving the safety of our school children as they travelled to and from school. She said she remained committed to delivering the schemes identified by the end of January 2019.
The Executive Member for Schools, Culture and Leisure said that whilst ultimately this was a highways project he remained committed to working with his Executive colleague to successfully implement these improvements.
The Director of Operations (Highways) responded to a request from a Member for timely and regular updates on the progress of this programme by offering to provide a weekly update to Members and gave an assurance that this work would be progressed.
Having discussed the item Members stated that they were not confident with the process and moved a recommendation that the Chair raise the concerns expressed by the Committee with the Leader and the Chief Executive.
The Committee recommend that the Chair raise the concerns expressed by the Committee with the Leader and the Chief Executive.