COUNCILLORS HAVE GIVEN a green light to plans that it is hoped will make a busy road at a primary school safer.
Members of the economic development and infrastructure services committee was asked on Tuesday to approve a compromise restriction to traffic outside St Gerardines Primary School in Lossiemouth.
The move came after local concerns were raised over the safety of children caused mainly by the number of cars parked outside the school – in particular during the busy morning and afternoon periods when pupils are arriving and leaving.
An initial plan was put in place to ban any vehicles from stopping along most of the length of St Gerardine’s Road and several side streets in the vicinity. However, when the proposals were first put to consultation last summer, several objections were received most notably from local businesses, parishioners at St Gerardine’s Church and the Lossiemouth Community Council.
In his report to councillors Traffic Engineer Kevin Price noted: “Following extensive discussions with the four objectors it became clear that, although all interested parties accepted that there was a clearly identifiable safety school gate issue on St Gerardines Road, which they agreed required attention, concerns were expressed regarding the restrictive nature of the proposals in the vicinity of St Gerardine’s Church.
“All parties indicated that they would be supportive of amendments to the proposals that only placed restrictions adjacent to the church during school times.”
In addition, Lossiemouth Community Council noted that placing traffic restrictions would only be of value if they were subsequently enforced.
Forres councillor and former teacher George Alexander noted that the best safety measure for children travelling to schools “would be for their parents to walk them to school rather than drive them to the gate”.
Councillors agreed that a revised Traffic Regulation Order should be introduced imposing waiting restrictions in the area, adding the proviso that a request will be made to local police over enforcement.
Restrictions around local businesses, homes and St Gerardine’s Church will be in place only on school days when children are arriving at or leaving the school.