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Traffic safety measures in Cartmel

Volume 593: debated on Monday 23 February 2015

The Petition of a resident of the UK,

Declares that current traffic safety measures on the road outside Cartmel Priory School are insufficient and pose a safety risk to pupils and local residents and further that a local petition on this matter was signed by 255 individuals.

The Petitioner therefore requests that the House of Commons urges the Government to launch an urgent strategic review of traffic safety measures in the Cartmel area and the implementation of further controls and restrictions.

And the Petitioner remains, etc.—[Presented by Tim Farron, Official Report, 26 January 2015; Vol. 591, c. 697.]

[P001423]

Observations from the Secretary of State for Transport received 13 February 2015:

I recognise the importance of the provision of adequate measures to ensure the safety of children and all pedestrians in the vicinity of schools. Local highway authorities are responsible for managing and maintaining the road network in their area and each authority, in this case Cumbria county council, has a duty to ensure that traffic is managed in such a way as to promote road safety. Measures to achieve this objective are available for local authorities to use and might include the setting of local speed limits (whether mandatory or advisory), placing warning signs near schools, providing crossings for children and providing traffic-calming features such as humps or chicanes.

The DFT is responsible for setting legislation and for producing guidance to traffic authorities on how to provide various traffic management measures. We have various publications on our website for the following topics;

Setting local speed limits -

www.gov.uk/government/publications/setting-local-speed-limits

The Assessment of Pedestrian Crossings, The Design of Pedestrian Crossings and Traffic Calming

www.gov.uk/government/publications/local- transport-notes

Guidance on the use of prescribed traffic signs

www.gov.uk/government/publications/traffic-signs-manual

Mandatory requirements for specific traffic schemes such as regulatory traffic signs (speed limit signs) are set out in current legislation and the advice and guidance that we have published is given to assist local authorities in their statutory duties.

The DFT has also issued an area-wide authorisation to all traffic authorities in England which includes a part-time advisory 20 mph limit sign for outside schools. The sign includes flashing school warning signals to draw attention to the static signing and may be placed on one side of the road only. The light signals must not be in operation outside of school term times, as drivers may come to ignore them year-round if they are known to operate when children are on holiday. It is not mandatory that traffic authorities should use this or any of the other authorised signs, it is just another signing combination that is available to them.

This authorisation issued to Cumbria county council may be viewed on a database on the DFT website and can be viewed at:

www.dft.gov.uk/traffic-auths/?search=2678

It is for the council to consider whether to meet the requests of the petitioners by using any of the above measures to alleviate the problems identified near the school.

In line with the coalition Government’s commitment to localism, Ministers and officials have no remit to intervene in the day-to-day affairs of local authorities except where specific provision has been made in legislation.