Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Feb 2021 Statement from Dulwich & Herne Hill Safe Routes to School

 Statement from Dulwich and Herne Hill Safe Routes to School (SRS) - Feb 2021


Safe Routes to School Dulwich & Herne Hill (SRS) is comprised of representatives from all the schools in this area. Its members are staff and/or parents at the schools.


The group was formed over a decade ago with a specific goal: to support and engage with all relevant parties to enable children to travel to school safely, actively and healthily and, where appropriate, independently. We support measures which enable safe walking and cycling, as well as those to reduce traffic, which will in turn reduce road danger and improve air quality. 


School representatives of SRS promote activities within the schools, share best practice and views from the schools and seek to provide support to the schools in the execution of their Travel Plans, most of which have Gold Accreditation.


SRS seeks to engage responsibly in local consultations on traffic and travel measures. As part of those consultations we support measures which we believe further our aim: safe, active travel for children to and from school. Over the years since its formation, the members of SRS have gained significant experience and understanding of traffic and travel issues. We appreciate that sometimes engagement will be challenging and require compromise.


SRS was one of many participants in the Dulwich Our Healthy Streets (OHS) engagement, which involved extensive consultation by Southwark Council with the local community over several months during 2019-2020.  SRS supported OHS’s objectives of improved active travel measures, increased road safety, reduced traffic and improved air quality.


SRS recognises that the current Experimental Traffic Orders (ETOs) are trials, which are to include consultation with the community. The ETOs include most of the proposed measures of OHS and as such received qualified support from SRS. We support the objectives of the measures and are engaging with the Council on the details, in the absence of any other proposals which deliver our aims. 


Part of the role of SRS is to respond to consultations and proposals made by the authorities. We believe the measures in place in general promote safe travel for children to school, but as members of the local community we do not underestimate the consequential challenges or difficulties for other stakeholders.


For many years our schools have received protests about the dangers to children posed by the volume of road traffic and unsafe driving and parking in our area. SRS has consistently sought to find ways to work with the relevant authorities to address these issues.


We will be glad to hear suggestions which enable our goal of safe and active travel for children but will respond formally only to consultations initiated by the relevant authority.