The current proposal for amalgamation of Eskdale School with Caedmon College is in its second phase of “consultation” (we use the term loosely here since the points made in the first phase were not answered). We have made a submission about the transport implications. It is reproduced here. Will North Yorkshire Council address these points? or will they simply ignore them?
Regarding the proposal to house 1000 children on Caedmon College Normanby site instead of the current 600 we wish to comment on the transport situation.
There is still no transport assessment. The statement (presumably from Whitby Secondary Partnership) is seemingly not carried out by qualified transport assessors neither does it consider all aspects of the transport impact (because residents live around that area, and their residential area does actually matter to them).
- With the current 600 pupils Mayfield Road is gridlocked around 8:45 and 3:30, with buses parking in the carriageway, as well as large numbers of vehicles parking to drop off/pick up their children. This parking is on ALL surrounding streets. Multiplying the amount of traffic by 5/3, which is what you are proposing, means that surrounding streets will be further inundated during those hours, as well as a general deterioration of the traffic situation on the (already) busiest road in the town. The vehicular entrance to Caedmon College Normanby needs a redesign so that buses do not cause a blockage.
- Your proposal implies 400 children having to walk (when not being driven by parents) down (the racetrack) Helredale Rd, followed by crossing Whitby New Bridge (40mph, with footpaths that have no verge nor do they have width), followed by arrival at Mayfield Road. They will then need to cross that road. This raises the following
- An NYCC Scrutiny Committee voted in Jan/Feb to require 20mph OUTSIDE ALL SCHOOLS AND AREAS OF HIGH FOOTFALL. Whitby Sixth Form is on New Bridge, yet has 40mph currently. Consequential to this vote and your proposal, the whole of New Bridge, and a section of Mayfield Road will need to be dropped to 20mph.
- Crossing facilities on Mayfield Road (full length) are utterly inadequate currently, and with a further 400 pupils around 8:45 and 3:30 will be totally unacceptable. Specifically there is a single light-controlled crossing on the length of Mayfield Road … at the junction with Prospect Hill and New Bridge, and this crossing takes 3 minutes for the lights to change for pedestrians. Consequently it can be considered that crossing facilities will need a complete redesign,
- The junction between Mayfield Road with Prospect Hill and New Bridge is the biggest bottleneck in the road system in Whitby currently, and this will get worse by directing further traffic due to this proposal, so the junction really also needs to be considered for a redesign whilst considering the crossings.
- The junction between Spital Bridge / Larpool Lane and New Bridge is already listed as a problematic junction for NYC (allegedly due to be worked on / redesigned for “Town Deal” due to the chaos caused by closure of the Swing Bridge). This redesign will have to take into account the passage of a further 400 children on school days.
- Inclusion of cycling in the School Travel Plan has to be considered, and clearly is impossible currently due to NYC’s sum total investment in Active Travel in the Whitby area of £0 to date. The LCWIP for this area is due to be developed this financial year. This has to include provision of cycle infra across New Bridge. This is yet a further reason for the bridge limit to be dropped to 20mph. Similarly the LCWIP will have implications for any redesign of the Mayfield Road area (e.g a cycle path along that road, and use of the disused bridge off Anchorage Way), and has to be borne in mind (otherwise you would only have to rework it later, at further cost to the taxpayer).
Until a full transport assessment has been carried out that considers all of these issues, and the associated cost calculated, we fail to see how any such proposal can go ahead; all associated costs should be included in the decision process (aka how “business” would make such a decision).
A reply was received from North Yorkshire Council, as follows