This petition is now closed, as its deadline has passed.
Petition update from the council, 15 September 2017
1. Executive Summary
1.1 This report considers a petition of 53 signatories requesting a zebra crossing outside St Luke’s School on Fernhead Road near the junction with Carlton Vale.
1.2 The petition was submitted on line on 5th April 2017 and presented to the Full Council meeting by Councillor Patricia McAllister on 12th July 2017.
1.3 This report responds to the issues raised in this petition and advises that due to the current low number of accidents at the site and competing demands for the council’s limited resources, a zebra crossing is not pursued at this stage but the location is kept under review following the imminent 20MPH trial.
2.1 That the Cabinet Member for City Highways welcomes the petition but defers any decision on a Zebra crossing until the outcome of the 20MPH trial is complete.
2.2 That the Cabinet Member for City Highways notes that a response has been provided to the issue raised in the petition and that the lead petitioner is advised of the action to be taken in respect of this matter.
3. Reasons for Decision
3.1 To respond to the issue raised in the petition presented by Councillor Patricia McAllister to the Full Council meeting on 12th July 2017.
3.2 A zebra crossing should not be implemented at this stage for the following reasons:
• The accident data for the area does not currently indicate an intervention is necessary.
• The 20MPH trial should reduce traffic speeds, and will collect data on traffic volumes and speeds.
• The crossing point outside the school is already supported by a school crossing patrol officer.
• There is no assigned budget to cover the likely costs of c.£100k for the study, design and works for the crossing.
4. Background, including Policy Context
4.1 The petition was submitted on the City Council’s website on 5th April 2017. The details of the petition read:
4.2 We the undersigned petition Westminster City Council to: install a Zebra Crossing on Fernhead Road W9 near St Luke's School to allow pedestrians, particularly parents with children and those with mobility problems, to cross the road safely. Traffic on Fernhead Road W9 has increased recently making it very difficult to cross the road, especially for parents taking their children to and from St Luke's School. A Zebra Crossing near the school is urgently needed.
4.3 The online petition received 53 signatories and closed on 18th May 2017.
4.4 The school is situated at the northern end of Fernhead Road, between Fernhead Road and Ashmore Road. The school entrance is on the western side of Fernhead Road and there is an informal crossing point just north of the junction with Saltram Crescent with dropped kerbs, guardrails, and school keep clear markings. Fernhead Road is served by two bus routes, the 36 and 187.
4.5 A school crossing patrol (SCP) operates at the site during term times in the morning and evening to help children cross Fernhead Road.
4.6 The SCP site at St Luke’s has recently been reviewed (17/07/2017) under the Road Safety guidelines, and the outcome was the site continues to meet the criteria for a SCP.
4.7 The location does not appear in the City Council’s Local Safety Scheme (LSS) programme. The LSS programme identifies over 100 locations at which there are the highest number of accidents and vulnerable user casualties. An analysis of the most recent 36 months’ road safety record for Fernhead Road shows that there have been four slight, and one serious, personal injury collisions. None of these involved pedestrians (two were in cars, one involved a motorcyclist, and the other two cyclists). Therefore, as this does not highlight a significant road safety issue at this location the recommendation is not to prioritise resources to investigate this issue further.
4.8 Fernhead Road and all roads within the area will be subject to a 20 MPH trial starting in the summer. A vehicle activated sign (VAS) has been installed opposite the school on the south-bound carriageway of Fernhead Road. The sign will collect southbound traffic counts and vehicle speeds, and can help inform any future decisions on interventions and additional measures.
4.9 Westminster’s School Travel Plan and Road Safety officers continue to offer assistance to the school helping to provide pedestrian training for their year 2 and 3 pupils on 3rd and 4th March this year, and have given road safety education talks at the school. Through liaison with the school, officers are arranging for an additional school crossing patrol sign to be placed in Fernhead Road. Risk assessments at the crossing point have identified a potential obstruction from the motorcycle bay on the eastern side of the road. A proposed alternative location in Saltram Crescent has been identified to relocate the bay to, and this will be progressed by officers.
5. Response to petition
5.1 Currently no direct correspondence has been made with the petitioners, at this stage the CMR seeks the CM’s views before progressing anything further.
6. Financial Implications
6.1 The associated costs for the study, design and works for a new zebra crossing would be approximately £100,000. There is no funding allocated for this. The scheme would need to be funded by the City Council as any application for TfL LIP corridor funding would likely be rejected as it does not meet the criteria under accident history, and does not appear on the City Council’s 100 ‘long list’ of Local Safety Schemes list.
7. Legal Implications
7.1 Petition Schemes are governed by the provisions of the Local Democracy, Economic Development, and Construction Act 2009 (“The 2009 Act”). Sections 11 – 18 of the 2009 Act sets out the procedural requirements the City Council should have regard to when it receives a Petition. In essence, this requires the City Council, amongst other things, to debate the subject matter in an open and transparent way, engage fully in the process by proper consultation with the petition organiser, and such other affected parties, and to appoint an officer to “be called to account” (defined under the 2009 Act as a “Chief Officer” or “Head of Service”) whose responsibility, it is to oversee the Petition process to ensure compliance with the 2009 Act and the City Council’s Petition Scheme as provided for under the Constitution. The Petition Scheme sets out explicitly the actions and steps the City Council will undertake when a Head of Service is appointed accordingly.
7.2 The City Council when looking at the subject matter of this report is obliged to consider the responses to the Petition in a fair, reasonable and proportionate way as part of the decision making process. This measured approach needs to be balanced against the City Council’s general power of Competence under Part 1 of the Localism Act 2011 to improve the well-being of its area.
7.3 Cabinet Members during the decision making process are required to take into account fully the arguments for and against introduction of a Zebra Crossing at Fernhead Road as amplified within the body of this report and by attaching the necessary weight to those considerations.
8. Outstanding issues
If you have any queries about this Report please contact:
Simon Morgan, Programme and Contract Manager, Highways and Public Realm.
020 7641 2075