St Philip’s School can keep direct access to Victoria Pleasure Ground

A temporary pedestrian access from the Victoria Pleasure Ground to St Philip’s School is to be made permanent.

Town councillors agreed last night (January 2) agreed to issue a licence after accepting proposals from the school’s governors to try and control parking, which has caused congestion at drop-off and pick-up times.

Last year, the environment and leisure committee put off making a decision to seek an undertaking from St Philip’s as to how parking could be monitored.

The temporary access was created while housebuilding was carried out on the old convent site.

Safer route

Members accepted the route was safer for pupils than walking along Old Timbers Lane.

They were told the school had made a number of commitments:

  1. The school will pay the legal costs of the council to make a new licence (estimated at £400).  It accepts that the agreement will contain a break clause, allowing the council to close the link in case of a serious breach of the licensee’s obligations.
  2. The school will be responsible for the maintenance of the path up to the point it joins the car park surface of Victoria Pleasure Ground.  The fence and gate will also be maintained by the school.
  3. The school will assist in the education of parents to park with consideration at Victoria (ensuring in particular that access to the dementia day care service is available at all times).  It said it was unable to directly supervise the car park but would take similar measures to those used at the front of the school where parents are contacted personally when parking guidelines are ignored, as well as giving regular reminders via school newsletters,  
  4. The gate connecting the school to Victoria will continue to be open only during school days (normal opening times are 7am to 5.30pm).

The school also clarified overall access arrangements. It told councillors:

The staff park on the school’s access road and parents have use of the church car park.

New Town 

“In addition, we have a school crossing patrol who assists children and parents crossing New Town and accessing the front of the school.

“The path up from New Town to the school is very steep but our DDA access is via the Old Timbers Lane footpath and then through College Place.

“The church car park has approximately 25 – 30 parking spaces, with in/out access. This access is not disability friendly and an alternative footpath access has been provided through the housing estate from the main road via Old Timbers Lane.   This gate is locked between 4.00pm and 5.30pm and opened at 7.30am.”

Parking directly outside the school is for staff only and is coned off by the crossing patrol person at 8.30am.

The town council’s environment and leisure committee said it would formally review the operation of the access each year.

From our files

School challenged over Victoria Pleasure Ground parking

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