Transport councillor highlights safer routes to school

EDUCATIONAL and practical road safety initiatives in schools are at the forefront of Thurrock Council’s focus for the year ahead.

In a report presented at a Full Council meeting on Wednesday, 23 October, Cllr Ben Maney, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, showcased a year of success including a new five-year programme of funding for safer routes to schools and road safety engineering schemes which has been approved and ring fenced by Cabinet. At least 10 safer routes to schools initiatives have been identified to be delivered during 2019/20, of which four – Kenningtons Primary Academy, Dilkes Academy, Thameside Primary School, and Arthur Bugler Primary School – are already in place, with plans for schemes in a further six schools to be delivered by March 2020.

Other road safety initiatives highlighted in the report include a number of Surround a Town Days in conjunction with the Safer Essex Roads Partnership and Thurrock Road Safety; and 14 schools and 535 Year One pupils participating in scooter training since April 2019. The council’s road safety team has 10 schools booked in for scooter training during the new school year with others requesting further dates.

Under its Highways and Transport Services, Thurrock Council will also focus on investing in the borough’s roads with:

£971,000 in the Integrated Transport Block towards delivering improvements in priority areas

More than £1million secured for the A126 through the Department of Transport safer roads fund

The report further outlines the enforcement of idling car engines in parked cars using new powers to issue fixed penalty notices; £1million spent on the Kerb-It scheme in five locations including Aveley, Grays, South Ockendon and Corringham; plans to create a new two-way system in Grays to allow two-way traffic between Derby Road and Stanley Road; the opening of Thurrock’s first cycle hub promoting sustainable travel; and exceeding its 98 per cent target of potholes being repaired within target under Clean It, Cut It, Fill It.

Cllr Maney said: “During the past year, we’ve demonstrated significant investment in our Highways and Transport Services, particularly in keeping our children and young people safe in Thurrock, and this is set to continue in 2019.

“These vital services are critical to our residents and ensuring our highways and transport links run effectively and are well maintained is, and always will be, a priority. We will continue to build on the excellent results that we have already seen.”

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