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Agenda item

Flintshire County Council’s Hazardous Routes

Decision:

(a)       That the Council’s statutory duty to assess the travel needs of school pupils under the Learner Travel Guidance and the process used to define Hazardous Routes to School, be noted; and

 

(b)       That the current list of Hazardous Routes to School be noted.

Minutes:

The Chief Officer (Streetscene and Transportation) introduced a report on the criteria for defining a school hazardous route and define the hazardous routes to school within the County.  He provided background information and invited the Transport Manager to present the report.

 

                        The Transport Manager reported on the main considerations, as detailed in the report, and advised that the Council had a legal duty to assess the travel needs of learners who walked to and from school.  The Council’s Transport Policy, which was appended to the report, dictated that free school transport would be provided to the nearest eligible site of education in the following circumstances:

 

·         the child resides in excess of 2 miles (for primary school pupils) and 3 miles (for secondary school pupils) from their nearest appropriate school; or

 

·         If the route is deemed to be ‘hazardous’

 

                        The Transport Manager explained that in accordance with the Learner Travel Statutory Provision, a route can only be defined as ‘acceptable’ (i.e. non hazardous) if the criteria as detailed in section 1.02 of the report was met. 

 

The Chief Officer (Streetscene and Transportation) emphasised that the hazardous routes policy would only apply to the nearest school.   He explained that free transport would not be offered on the basis of transport not to the nearest school.

 

Councillor Haydn Batman asked whether condition of the road was taken into account.  The Transport Manager confirmed that an assessment would take the condition of foot-ways and  road surfaces into account.

 

Councillor Dave Hughes expressed disappointment that the route from Llanfynydd to Abermorddu was not listed.

 

Councillor Andy Dunbobbin referred to a road in Northop Hall and it was suggested that specific matters regarding  routes be raised with officers outside the meeting.

 

The Committee felt it would be more appropriate to delay advertising the routes on the Council’s website until anomalies raised by members had been reviewed.

 

Councillor Marion Bateman referred to the list of hazardous routes and asked if there were plans to improve any of them and thereby remove them from the list in future.  The Transport Manager explained that the routes were reviewed constantly and each  year there was an opportunity to bid for funding for schemes which could result in improvement  work being undertaken and some routes being de-classified as hazardous.

 

Councillor Bateman asked if  the ranking of  hazardous routes could be provided.  She also asked if information could be provided to schools in terms of their position in relation to hazardous routes. The Transport Manager advised that a matrix was available and could be circulated to the Committee.

 

Councillor Chris Bithell emphasised that the policy only applied to the nearest school and it was necessary to apply the rules rigorously to avoid additional expense. He commented that there had been examples where parents did not want a route to be ‘made safe’ as this would remove the provision of free school transport. 

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That the Council’s statutory duty to assess the travel needs of school pupils under the Learner Travel Guidance and the process used to define Hazardous Routes to School, be noted; and

 

(b)       That the current list of Hazardous Routes to School be noted.

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