The Swan School
Our challenge was to provide the new secondary school with an access design and associated management strategy to enable all road users to operate in safe and efficient way.
The proposed location for the school had several constraints to overcome. These included: vehicular access to the school that cut through a strategic cycle lane in Oxford, which accommodated very high cycle flows of circa 500 cyclists per hour, and traffic speed of 40 mph along the major road from where access was gained. Furthermore, the area around the school has on-street parking congestion and on-site drop off was required – resulting in vehicles needing to turn across the busy cycle lane.
Undertaking access design, road safety audit and complex modelling exercises our team were able to identify a combination of measures to allow optimal operation of the proposed access aiming at minimising impact on the existing users. Through the baseline study, suitable gaps in traffic/cycle flows were identified which led to the proposed school start and finish times to the school day. This was also co-ordinated with the operation times of three other schools nearby.
In addition to the proposed operation of the school access, other measures were proposed to strengthen its efficiency and safety. These included; warden management at the site access, car-park and drop-off management, parking permits, gate operation timetable and staff supervision and a School Travel Plan.
The proposed strategy was developed working closely with the design team, school trust and local authority and resulted in the practical solution that addressed demand and safety issues which were frequently raised by different parties.
This scheme and proposed strategy were widely consulted with the public, cycle lobby groups, action travel groups, the Parish Council and local politicians.
The planning application was approved at a full planning committee and the scheme is moving forward with the aimed opening date in 2020.