Much disquiet in Mayor Me-First’s SOUTHVILLE BACKYARD following the botched expansion of Ashton Gate Primary School into the old Imperial Tobacco offices on Upton Road.
Ashton Gate Primary School has now DOUBLED in size from a two-form intake to a four-form intake because of a population explosion in the leafy South Bristol suburb and the Upton Road site will eventually hold 480 children.
The original planning application proposed closing Upton Road as the school’s playground is on the OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD from the classrooms but this has not happened.
Instead, the council responded to objections from a few residents and people who use Upton road as an overflow car park by agreeing to leave the road OPEN to all traffic and promised to install some traffic calming measures instead.
The final planning decision states that the main reason for leaving Upton Road open to traffic was because of the loss of parking spaces and the fact that Upton Road is used as a diversion route when events are held at – wait for it … Mayor Self Serving’s TOBACCO FACTORY!
Some so-called traffic calming measures have been put in place although many parents are describing them as “PATHETIC“. One told us, “The ‘speed tables’ at either end of Upton road wouldn’t slow down a mobility scooter”!
Worse, there are no signs to warn drivers that a school is ahead and people driving past or through Upton Road are very confused indeed when they see HUNDREDS OF CHILDREN AND PARENTS flocking to an office block at 8.40am.
Neither have any crossing patrols been provided at either end of Upton Road nor yellow zig-zags have been kept to a MINIMUM in order to maximise the number of PARKING SPACES on the road.
Double yellow lines were still being painted onto the road on the Monday afternoon after the school had opened for the new term and the traffic calming measures appear to have been installed by a fly-by-night contractors as they resemble a “TARMAC TOUPEE“.
It has also become apparent that the classrooms at the front of the school cannot have any windows open because of TRAFFIC NOISE, which suggests it’s not a healthy site for a school unless the road is closed during school hours.
It’s also IMPOSSIBLE for any children to walk to school unaccompanied, which has always been seen as useful for year 6 children preparing to go to secondary school.
It’s blatantly obvious that the council have decided to prioritise pay parking meters for RPZ and supporting events at the Tobacco Factory above the safety of the children of Southville.
It’s not good enough. The Council must urgently agree to close Upton Road at least during school hours before there’s an accident…