Students take to video to sort traffic problems

Students have taken to video in a bid to do something about traffic congestion and dangerous driving outside their schools.

Hornby High and Halswell School students and pupils have had enough of the traffic issues, which has now prompted the city council to investigate.

The concerns were now under investigation by the city council, who will report back to the Hornby-Halswell-Riccarton Community Board to determine how to alleviate the issues.

Board member Mark Peters described the problems as “diabolical” and an “accident waiting to happen.”

“It’s absolutely diabolical, the congestion and behaviour is out of control. Some students are jumping into their parents cars on the road while they’re stuck in a traffic queue,” he said.

“It’s a case of the shear volume of traffic banking up onto the state highway from their street outside their school.”

Halswell School principal Stuart Cameron said the main areas of concern were the drop off zone, the Sparks Rd and Halswell Rd intersection, and the school’s road patrol area.

Said Cameron: “We as a school have a large population that has grown to 700 in the last few years. We have a limited number of exits which develops congestion issues for traffic, particularly during pick-up times.

“The suburb itself is growing considerably, so with new roads and subdivisions opening up, it’ll always take a while for roading networks to catch up.”

The students took the video and their concerns to the community board which in turn requested council staff to investigate.

Cameron said the school was now taking proactive measures to promote alternative ways to get to school, such as a park and walk system, a walking school bus or encouraging pupils to walk or bike to school.

Hornby High students were also facing the same problem, with large trucks and increased volumes of traffic on Waterloo Rd making the trek to school a hazardous experience.

Although no stopping restrictions were recently approved by the community board on Waterloo Rd to improve visibility and safety, Peters said this was not enough.

He suggested safer crossings such as what was in place outside the Upper Riccarton Library or Riccarton High School, or having fencing to keep students off the road while walking to school.

“My concerns are down to the volume and type of traffic mixing with students, such as large truck movements and seeing crowds of students darting in between traffic.

“It’s horrifying and an accident waiting to happen – we need to do something about it before it does.”

 

 

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