School signs a start

NEW: St Anne's Catholic School, on Ferry Rd, has new signs to let motorists know they're near a school. PHOTO: GEOFF SLOAN

Signs warning motorists of St Anne’s Catholic School have been installed on Ferry Rd.

The signs come after Southern View highlighted concerns the school had over pupil safety on the busy road in Woolston.

School principal Dallas Wichman said while he was happy the signs had been installed, 40km/h speed limits are still needed to be put in urgently.

St Anne’s principal Dallas Wichman

“The signs are good but after a while people will forget about them, at least something that is flashing will get more attention for just 10 minutes and that’s what we need,” Mr Wichman said.

During the holidays the city council installed four school signs at a cost of $1200.

City council acting head of transport, Steffan Thomas, said they were installed to make people aware they are near a school and children are about.

“The signs were installed to raise awareness of the presence of the school. Council did this in response to the principal’s concerns about the level of traffic.  Some motorists appeared not to be expecting school-related travel activity,” Mr Thomas said.

Mr Wichman said he didn’t know the signs were going in, he said he arrived at the school and saw them there.

In a city council list of 18 schools prioritised for lower speed limits St Anne’s doesn’t feature on the list. The city council has $120,000 a year to spend on school zones.

Mr Thomas said schools were prioritised based on a number of factors relating to the road environment outside.

“The list is reviewed regularly and the ranking of an individual school can change due to the school, and the surrounding environment, changing,” he

Traffic figures from April last year showed along Ferry Rd between Osborne St and Aldwins Rd an average of 24,600 vehicles per day used the road with 1810 during peak traffic from 8am-9am and the same figures for the
school peak between 3pm and 4pm.

Mr Wichman said “anything is better than nothing” and he hoped this encouraged the city council to put flashing speed signs in sooner than later.