The new primary school

The new primary school on Glebe Way/the B1049 has been up and running since a few weeks before Easter. It’s now admitting somewhat more than 300 children. Eventually this will be 420.

It’s fair to say that there have been teething problems. I expect there have been some internally but the school’s staff have just got on and sorted them out. And there have been some externally as parents, carers and children work out how best to get to school in the morning and to return home in the evening.

There are instances of inconsiderate parking, largely in Narrow Lane and Narrow Close, and of frankly dangerous (stupid?) parking on Cottenham Road close to the junction with the B1049. There are also reports of drivers on the B1049 not being mindful of the speed limit (it’s 30mph) and not recognising that the crossing merits a little more care as they approach it.

The school is very conscious of the need to ensure that the positive impact it has on the community, it is a great school and enjoys the legacy of the other primary schools in the community, is not damaged by continuing disquiet about the impact which it has on neighbouring roads. It has been, and continues to be, proactive in managing the issue. The head, Jonathon Newman, has kept me informed about measures which it is taking and gave me a full update yesterday.

Matters are improving and will continue to improve over time:

  • it’s a new situation and people will evolve their own practices to make life easier for themselves. Getting caught up in traffic jams in Narrow Close hardly makes for an easy life!
  • the school is providing guidance. Whilst it can’t of course recommend that parents and carers park in certain streets it can encourage them to be a little more imaginative in deciding where to park.
  • the drop-off area/turning circle is being brought back into use. The school is looking at ways in which this might happen so that parents and carers who have most need are able to access it.

The parking on Cottenham Road cannot be tolerated long term and if necessary representation must be made for double yellow lines on the stretch closest to the junction.

The school is surveying the size and extent of the problems. It’s currently estimated to be caused by less than 50 vehicles.

The concern about B1049 traffic and speeding will be addressed by Speedwatch as soon as it is possible. If there is a speeding problem then that will need to be addressed but we need to recognise that:

  • simply reducing the speed limit will have limited, if any, effect.
  • the junction itself is very visible and there’s a good 50m plus of clear visibility. It’s a very strong signal to slow down

I took a walk around the school yesterday and it really is a wonderful place. It’s full of colour, it’s vibrant, and there’s evidence of the appropriate use of technology throughout. Plus of course if you’re upstairs you get the splendid views across Buxhall Farm. Long may they remain! We are a truly fortunate community to enjoy such a first class facility.

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