Schools unite to plead for slower traffic in Welwyn and Woolmer Green

PUBLISHED: 16:24 20 March 2017 | UPDATED: 16:36 20 March 2017

(Back L-R) Local county cllr of Welwyn division Richard Smith, St Michaels Woolmer Green Primary School interim head Mrs Jan Martin, Parent and petitioner Annette Pendrey, Oaklands School head Mrs Julie Petitt, chairman of Welwyn parish council cllr Bill Morris with Oaklands and St Michaels year 5 and 6 pupils who are campaigning to decrease the speed limit of the road outside their schools.

(Back L-R) Local county cllr of Welwyn division Richard Smith, St Michaels Woolmer Green Primary School interim head Mrs Jan Martin, Parent and petitioner Annette Pendrey, Oaklands School head Mrs Julie Petitt, chairman of Welwyn parish council cllr Bill Morris with Oaklands and St Michaels year 5 and 6 pupils who are campaigning to decrease the speed limit of the road outside their schools.

Danny Loo Photography 2017

Parents of children at two schools have united with villagers to call for action to slow down speeding traffic.

More than 350 people have signed a petition calling for more effective speed enforcement along the B197 past Oaklands Primary School in Welwyn and St. Michael’s Primary School in Woolmer Green.

Although the road already has a fixed police camera to enforce a 40mph speed limit, parents of children at both schools say more needs to be done.

The petition submitted to County Hall suggests lowering the limit to 30mph or less, and more obvious signs to warn drivers they are passing schools.

Campaign spokeswoman Annette Pendrey said: “We’re not alone and are delighted by the strong support that we’ve received from the 353 people who signed our online petition in just one month, including local residents, parents of children at these two schools and the local nursery as well as local councillors.

“We’re pleased that Hertfordshire County Council has agreed to conduct a review of the current road safety measures in conjunction with Local county councillor Richard Smith. We look forward to hearing the outcome. “

Councillor Smith said: “Options available for relatively quick implementation will be considered such as increased signage, road markings and flashing orange lights to warn drivers of the presence of schoolchildren.”

He has applied to a police road safety fund for cash to study options for speed enforcement.

Oaklands headteacher Julie Petitt said: “With 50 per cent of our catchment travelling in from outside the immediate area, we are still experiencing high levels of dangerous driving. We’re delighted to have the community behind us.”

Jan Martin, interim headteacher at St Michael’s, said: “As our sites are also on a commuter route, traffic at drop-off and pick-up times is heavy and this, coupled with a speed limit greater than 30 mph, creates unnecessary danger to our pupils and their families.”

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