Congestion outside Lichfield schools at drop-off time
Congestion on Cherry Orchard

Talks have taken place between council bosses and the headteachers of three Lichfield schools over concerns about road safety.

The removal of staggered start and finish times implemented during the Covid-19 pandemic has seen an increase in traffic on Cherry Orchard where St Michael’s Primary School, Five Spires Academy and St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School are all located.

In a letter to parents, headteachers from the three schools say talks have taken place with Staffordshire County Council and crossing patrol bosses to discuss ways to improve safety for pupils.

They include educating students on using crossings safely and asking parents to only let children leave vehicles on the footpath side of the road.

Drivers are also being urged not to make three point turns outside any of the schools.

In a statement, the headteachers said:

“The safety of all of our children and families is of paramount importance.

“We have welcomed the discussions and support that we have received from Staffordshire County Council to find solutions in order to reduce the risk that the road poses.

“This will need to be a team effort. Let us ensure that no member of our communities becomes a traffic statistic by looking out for one another.

“We will continue to raise road safety within our schools and, as always, we appreciate the support of our parent communities who can reinforce crucial safety messages so that our children can journey to school without fear or danger posed by traffic.”

Diane Raftery (Five Spires Academy), Dee McLeary (St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School) and Helen Robertson (St Michael’s Primary School

Dougie Craig, from the School Crossing Patrol Service, said he hoped the steps would lead to improvements.

“With the cooperation of parents and guardians, it is hoped that by changing back to pre-Covid timings we can allow the two crossing patrols to cover outside all three schools.

“This, combined with the suggestions put forward, will hopefully make the journey to and from school a much more pleasant and safer experience.”

Dougie Craig, School Crossing Patrol Service

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10 Comments

  1. Not mentioned in the school-timetable-based text of the article, but ably demonstrated by the photograph, is the major hazard in Cherry Orchard and Sturgeons Hill, namely the two-way HGV traffic throughout the day.
    There is no reason for any HGV to enter these roads, other than to avoid the low railway bridge in St. John’s Street . However, there seems no intention to prohibit too-tall HGV traffic from entering St. John’s St. or Sturgeon’s Hill.
    Why not?

  2. There are two crossing aids outside St Joseph’s and St Michael’s school in the form of lollipop people the cars slow down on approach
    Unfortunately cars going passed Five Spires school are travelling too fast along with HGV drivers
    The speed limit should be 20 outside schools
    I have asked for a speed bump or lollipop person action will only happen when we all have a moan
    I have written to Staffs county council, local Councillor and Michael Fabricant
    I am a concerned grandparent

  3. How about getting the children to walk to school, like we did when I was young? Traffic problems solved, and they’d all be a lot fitter.

  4. The article also fails to mention what I can only imagine is a negative impact on the children’s health in terms of air quality. This must be exacerbated by allowing large HGV’s to effectively use the road as a rat run. I’m amazed that some choose to access the road at precisely the time the children are arriving at / leaving the schools.

  5. It’s the same outside every school. Too many parents parking to pick up their kids to drive the 500 yards home !

  6. Quite so Richard. Surely most pupils will live within easy walking distance of their primary school? If the concern is for their safety, then what about the parents walking their children to school? It really is ridiculous that so many are ferried the short distance to school in car. We always walked to school, and so did our children. The current traffic jams outside schools is just one more example of the lazy dependence on cars endemic in our society.

  7. Imagine the problems for households adjacent to any of the local schools in getting their vehicles out of their driveways during school hours between 8-00am and 6-00 pm by irresponsible parking by not bothered parents who don’t care about their children’s safety ? I have stated for many years that it will take the DEATH of a pupil outside a school before the authorities act ?

  8. I live in the street where st Chad’s is located. It is horrendous at school times . Patents arrive late and dump their cars anywhere to drop the kids off. I’m disabled and need home nursing .many a time the nurses carnt get Parked to treat me. Parents block my gate. They get angry at my visitors and can become abusive. I’ve had the call the police a few times to move cars as they park for hours. They will be a time a child gets killed and no one considers anyone else. It’s like a war zone. I though kids had to be local to go to a to a school. Why don’t they walk ?. Parking should be banned near schools. Now Tesco’s are going to make people pay for parking I’ve noticed more cars parking on st Michael’s road. We are getting more cars parked than ever. Something will have to be done before the tenants and car users come to blows.

  9. I used to go to St Michael’s and I walked to school.
    We had a lollipop lady on Sturgeons Hill it was all good.
    HGV’s shouldn’t be anywhere near these roads but apart from that, why can’t children walk to school anymore? It’s not like Primary schools have enormous catchment areas so the children must live reasonably close?

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