Southill Lower School is a small rural lower school supplying education for children aged 3 – 9. It is situated in the village of Southill in the middle of School Lane between houses, a farm, a tree nursery and a church/cemetery. School Lane is a narrow road accessible to two-way traffic and only has a footpath from the front of the school to the junction of School Lane and High Street by the playing field. There are grass verges running the length of School Lane.
There is no public transport through the village and little access to safe parking.
Central Bedfordshire Council is currently in the process of moving schools in the Shefford and Stotfold cluster, of which Southill is included, to two-tier from September 2025. This will mean an increase in school traffic due to an additional 30 places being available between Years 5 & 6. An extension is due to be placed on the school but final plans are yet to be agreed and forwarded for consent.
As the road is an old country road, it is considerably narrower than normal roads with a small narrow footpath as mentioned above. This footpath does not allow you to walk two abreast. We are currently finding that there is an increased amount of traffic travelling along School Lane during the school day. This can cause unnecessary traffic jams at the start and end of the school day making it unsafe for pupils / local residents to walk on the narrow footpaths along with grass verges being churned up by vehicles having to mount the verges to allow for two-way traffic on a lane, which is not wide enough.
With the lack of public transport through the village parents/carers who do not live in the catchment area or who have children in the school's nursery (even if they live in the catchment area) have no option but to drive their children to school.
The school have unofficially placed a one-way system in place with parents/carers, which does work when only school traffic is using the lane.
A one-way system would allow the lane to be safe for all local residents whilst changing the grass verge for parking bays in front of the playing field would remove the issue of cars having to park on grass verges giving more parking to the immediate area.
- Start date
17 June 2022
- End date
29 July 2022