The Travel Plan for the proposed primary school submitted to the Council by Preston Manor High School ahead of the Planning Committee to be held on Wednesday was given a 'FAIL' by the council officers. Apart from missing detail there is some uncertainty about the geographical source of pupils. If the majority of pupils come from the local area this may have a destabilising impact on existing local primary schools. If they come from further away increased car traffic and congestion may be involved.
The Travel Plan is very light on detailed information for the school (e.g. generalbackground, assessment of existing transport network, policy review, detailing of the Travel Plan Co-ordinator’s role and detail around the implementation of the Travel Plan, such as an Action Plan and details of how it will be secured and funded). It is also missing some key measures, such as the operation of breakfast and after-school clubs to assist in staggering arrivals and departures and an on-site car parking management system (such as giving priority to car sharers).
A further major issue that has not been addressed in the Travel Plan is the proposed catchment area for the school. The Transport Assessment alludes to the shortage of school places for children in the southeast of the Borough, which could result in a large proportion of the future school roll initially coming from areas some distance from the school. This would make implementation of a number of the key travel plan measures, such as promotion of walking, very difficult and would require consideration of alternative measures, such as dedicated school buses from key population centres.
The Travel Plan has been assessed by the Council’s Highway officers using TfL’s ATTRIBUTE programme and has scored a “FAIL” (29/83).
The applicants consider that although initially there may be a higher than usual percentage of children travelling to the site, this will balance out over time as the school's criteria for attendance becomes applicable. The applicants have therefore not anticipated that a dedicated bus route is necessary.