Uploaded on Oct 14, 2011
Click 'Show more' to see times of note in the video and background information (click the times below to jump to that position):
Chellaston Academy to Barrow upon Trent
05:55 Traversing Chellaston Island
12:15 Car collision - cars mounted pavement
15:50 A514 crossing
22:00 Swarkestone junction
Barrow upon Trent to Chellaston Academy
30:19 Swarkestone junction
33:10 Crossing A514 Derby Road at Swarkestone
44:58 Crossing A514 Derby Road
50:11 Crossing A514 Swarkestone Road
54:34 Traffic Incident - cars mounted pavement
55:31 Traversing Chellsaton Island
With Derbyshire County Council insisting that their report from 2001, which deemed this route fit for safe walking to school, still stands 10 years later, parents have decided to video the walk themselves. This is the result. The vast majority is unlit, by the side of fast 50mph roads, includes narrow paths in states of disrepair and at stages no paths, no safe crossing areas in places of speed and blind bends, and brows of hills.
On both journeys, to and from Chellaston Academy, two traffic incidents were witnessed, both requiring the vehicles to pull in to the path of the walker.
Derbyshire County Council also refuses to take into account the fact that a recently successful planning application by nPower will see a new gas turbine power station built 3 miles from Barrow upon Trent, with all of the HGV construction traffic instructed to use the same route, Barrow upon Trent to Swarkestone, to exit the site. This will add 35 HGV journeys to the already busy route used by HGVs from LeFarge's Swarkestone Quarry in Barrow upon Trent.
Predictions from nPower's own assessment predict that car traffic will increase by 36% on this same route, adding an extra 600 car journeys to this stretch of road in morning rush hour. Derbyshire County Council state that they can not take this into account as it is not in place at the present time, although the planning informed local residents that construction is projected to begin in 2012.
In a letter from Michael Ball of Derbyshire County Council, to Barrow upon Trent's Parish Council and several parents who have noted their concern and anger at the decision to remove the subsidised bus service, Mr Ball states that "The Authority would, therefore, not consider conducting a re-assessment of the route unless it could be demonstrated that there had been relevant changes to the highway conditions as outlined in the criteria since the previous assessment."
An article in the guardian, quoted in the video, mentions a report by two transport bodies stating that between 1995 and 2009 the East Midlands saw the greatest increase in traffic on the roads in the UK, up by 39%.
We believe, as parents, that this video, that report, and the imminent increase in construction traffic that will last for several years, all give weight to the unsuitability of this route as a 'safe walk'.
The UK government's own website at this address...
"Children also qualify for free transport - no matter what distance they live from the school - if they are unable to walk for any of the following reasons: they have SEN, they have a disability or mobility problems, there is no safe walking route.
Safe walking routes are those which usually include road crossings, good lighting and well maintained pavements and footpaths. LAs are required to assess the suitability of walking routes."
You will see in the video that these are missing from large sections of the walk our children are expected to take.
If you are concerned over the route your child is expected to take, or are upset at the possibility that Barrow upon Trent's children should qualify for a free bus service in light of the government's web page above, then the following contacts might be useful to direct letters to:
Heather Wheeler MP - MP for South Derbyshire - email@example.com
Cllr John Harrison - Derbyshire County Council's representative for the Aston and Melbourne Division under which Barrow upon Trent falls, also a South Derbyshire District Councillor and a governor of Barrow upon Trent's primary school, Sale and Davys CE Primary School - firstname.lastname@example.org
Cllr Peter Watson - Local District Councillor for the Aston Ward under which Barrow upon Trent falls in the South Derbyshire District Council - email@example.com
Standard YouTube License