Frustration at road closure
PUBLISHED: 15:00 28 January 2015
Copyright Archant Ltd
Clevedon town councillors have expressed their disappointment that a busy road in the town will be closed for at least 24 weeks from next month.
North Somerset Council has decided to close Highdale Road from February 2 while St Nicholas Chantry Primary School, which sits next to the road, undergoes an expansion, including four new classrooms, to increase pupil numbers from 315 to 420.
At a meeting of Clevedon Town Council’s transport and highways committee last week, members expressed their concerns to unitary authority officers about the increased traffic it would cause in other areas of the town and the safety issues it may cause to children on their way to school.
Committee chairman Jane Geldart said: “I was very disappointed with the response and commitment from North Somerset Council in relation to the Highdale Road closure and I know the parents of St Nics and the wider community of Clevedon will be too.
“The only positive thing they said was that the school patrol lady in Highdale Road will be moved to Chapel Hill.
“The feeling was that, whilst this is helpful, it does not address the whole situation.
“There seems to be no other interventions to be put in place to help those who use Highdale Road for dropping off children to St Nics or those that use it to get to and from where they need to be.
“North Somerset Council seems unperturbed about the fact that Old Street will see an increase in traffic when lots of children from many schools use this route to get to school.
“The council and residents are worried about the impact on Highdale Avenue too but the officers did not have a response to this.
“Overall this is a disappointing response.”
A statement from the unitary authority on the road closure said: “Officers have looked at other possible alternatives but, for a number of reasons, including the location of the new classrooms on the Highdale Road side of the school and the need to safely transport materials on and off a live school site by crane, these were not considered to be appropriate for logistical and safety reasons.
“Regular reviews of both the project and the road closure will be carried out during the construction period.”
It is hoped that the road will be reopened for the start of the summer term.