Arduthie School joins peak time road closure trial

By bellmannews / June 23, 2024
the imposing sandstone facade of Arduthie School

From Aberdeenshire Council communications team –

Five more Aberdeenshire primary schools are to join a peak time road closure trial, following a successful launch in Fraserburgh.

At their meeting on Thursday, members of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee agreed that one school from the remaining five administration areas would join the trial to address similar aims to reduce congestion and improve the perception of safety around schools.

The proposals and identified roads may be refined following consultation and as the project is developed:      

  • Buchanhaven School – Hope Street
  • Auchterellon School – Millwood Road, part of Raeburn Road
  • Kellands School – Martin Brae and Upper Manse Walk
  • Arduthie School – Queens Road
  • Gordon Primary – Burnside Road

Based on the current trial at Fraserburgh South Park School and taking into account the need to consult with many internal and external stakeholders, it is anticipated that all five additional trial sites will be operational within 10 months.

The peak time road closure scheme restricts vehicles on main streets outside the participating primary schools during set periods of the day, usually around 8.15-9.15am and 2.30-3.30pm. 

Only vehicles with a valid permit or which are exempt from the scheme are allowed access to these streets. Signs are erected at the start of the streets which flash to indicate when the street closure is in operation. Vehicles which are currently exempt include Blue Badge holders, emergency services, council vehicles, delivery vehicles, care workers and taxis.

The first peak time road closure trial was launched in May last year at South Park School focusing on safety at the school gate – at the point where all pupils were entering and leaving the building.

The aim of the trial is to enable more families to travel actively to school if they felt it was safer to do so. The trial focuses on encouraging families to travel actively to the school or to park further away from the school by indicating with signage which streets are restricted to traffic. The restriction is enforceable through the implementation of a temporary traffic order regulation.

Current findings from the Fraserburgh trial have indicated that walking and cycling levels from 2022 to 2023 have increased from 56.4% to 67%. 

Surveys were taken forward with residents and school users, with 197 responses. 

One of the key points to was that a large percentage of respondents agree that by removing vehicles has been beneficial to pupil safety – 40% strongly agreed and a further 25% partially agreed. Overall, 54% of respondents were strongly in favour of the scheme and a further 28% were partially in favour. 

Cllr Alan Turner, chair of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, said: “It’s been heartening to see the positive outcomes of the Fraserburgh trial and I very much welcome the extension of the initiative to five more of our primary schools across Aberdeenshire. By undertaking this extended trial it will provide us with key data to support future road use changes around the school estate.”

Vice-chair Cllr Isobel Davidson added: “As a council we have trialed and tested a number of active travel projects within schools across Aberdeenshire which have shown to have a positive effect on the number of children who walk or cycle to school including the development of school travel plans. I am delighted to see the scheme being extended and have every confidence that motorists will adhere to the restrictions for the safety of our children as they attend school.”