Village primary school on "rat-run" where 20-year-old was killed wants permission to build car park to improve road safety

A village primary school has applied to build a £100,000 car park in order to relieve "severe traffic issues" outside the gates.

By Catherine Musgrove
Friday, 26th November 2021, 4:25 pm

Governors at All Saints C of E Primary School, New Longton, want to form a new 28-space car park on part of a school field off Hugh Barn Lane. The site is currently used as a trim trail area.

The existing car park only has seven spaces, so staff and visitors are forced to park on the main road outside the school, or on nearby side streets. This means traffic commuting between Longton and Whitestake is forced into one lane outside the school, leaving motorists to "take their chance" and often speed to get through the narrowing quickly.

In August, 20-year-old moped rider Lewis Turner died after being struck by a car on the junction of Sheephill Lane and Station Road, outside the school. The incident occured on a Saturday in the school holidays, and exact details have not yet been released into the cause of the crash, but it has focused attention on the safety of the road.

Headteacher James Maloney outside his school

>>>Click here for tributes to Lewis.

Head teacher James Maloney said he has been working towards a solution for the past five years, and is hopeful the car park plans are approved. He has had support - both financial and in writing - from Longton Parish Council.

He said: "We want to make a positive change for the village.

"This is a rat-run to the A59, so if we can limit the chance of a serious accident or fatalities through making a positive change to our infrastructure, we will.

The parked cars causing traffic problems outside the school.

"We look after 213 families and our responsibility is to safeguard the centre of their world. If we have to scrimp and save to make a positive change, then I'll do it in a heart beat."

Mr Maloney added that the school also has a responsibility to the residents of the village, and is keen to help improve the road safety for the community and for residents of side streets affected by parking.

Developing the site into a car park would not mean that children lose out on trim trail activities - already the school has invested in regenerating the 'top field' on its site, to make a usable green space for the pupils.

Long-term it is intended that the existing car parking area would provide an extension to the hardstanding play provision at the school.

Mr Maloney with the speed awareness sign in his playground, near the site where Lewis Turner was killed.

Access to the new car park is proposed off Hugh Barn Lane and although this would be a new access point, planners say this would not negatively impact the highway network "as the completion of this scheme would help to reduce the present congestion on the road associated with the school’s operation".

In a document sent to South Ribble Borough Council, they add: "A new walkway provided internally within the site will provide secure access for those parking in the car park to the main school building. A visibility splay of 2.4m x 43m is shown at the entrance point indicating good visibility for vehicles when exiting the car park."