Frome Town Council is working with Somerset County Council and Sustrans on the Frome School Streets project. The team has been engaging with the community to find a workable solution to safer streets around our schools.
‘School Streets’ enable safer and less congested roads by prioritising walking and cycling while limiting vehicular through-traffic. The aim is to design streets that encourage more families to actively travel to school, while maintaining access for anyone who lives and works in the area. The solutions will help reduce air pollution, enable social distancing and create child friendly streets.
It is key that residents engage with the plans and share their local knowledge and feedback to deliver safer streets for our whole community.
School Streets Consultation
In September and October 2021 Frome Town Council and Sustrans ran a series of seven community co-design events to inform the design of a School Streets scheme around Trinity, Critchill, Oakfield and Avanti schools and Bright Stars Nursery.
Frome Town Council ran a public consultation on the draft School Streets design from 4th April – 4th May 2022. This included an online survey via Commonplace, two drop-in sessions at Frome Town Hall and several outdoor sessions outside the schools throughout the month. The draft design and consultation responses are still available to view via Commonplace although the consultation is now closed.
What is a ‘School Street’?
A School Street is an area that limits vehicle access making it safer for people to walk, cycle or scoot to school. All residents who live in the School Streets area will still be able to access their street without restriction, as will school staff, buses and people with disabilities. All families heading to school will, for the most part, be asked to either walk, cycle, scoot or where not possible, to park and stride for 5 minutes.
Where will the School Streets be?
We have identified Oakfield Road, Somerset Road and the top of Nunney Road as a potential School Street because it links 5 schools with over 1500 pupils – Oakfield Academy, Trinity First School and Critchill School, with the Avanti Park School and Bright Stars nursery nearby, to Victoria Park and runs along the NCN24 cycle route.
How will it happen?
We aim to implement a trial in three stages:
Stage 1 – Co-Design A series of events to co-design the changes before we trial them.
Stage 2 – Implementation The design will be trialled in Autumn 2022 for a maximum of 18 months, during that time we will collect feedback from schools, local residents, businesses and the wider community.
Stage 3 – Decision Decide, with the community, whether the School Street should be a permanent fixture.
For the past six months we have been completing Stage 1, hosting engagement events with active travel charity Sustrans at various locations, including all the affected schools, the Mary Bailey playing field, the Westway shopping centre and online. We have shared multiple articles in the Frome Times and delivered a leaflet to all households in Frome.
These discussions and feedback have been channelled by Sustrans to create a School Streets draft plan. As the people that live, work or travel on the local streets, we need your help to make sure this plan serves the community as best it can.
Frome Town Council, Sustrans and Somerset County Council are now making the final changes to the design of the scheme based on the feedback we have received.
Once finalised, the design will go through the relevant safety audits and approvals from Somerset County Council before being implemented for a trial period of 18 months, now anticipated to begin in early 2023. The trial of the scheme will be implemented through an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO), meaning the changes will be legally enforceable for the 18 month period and the impacts will be monitored and evaluated. There will be a consultation on the final design as part of the ETRO process.
Frome Town Council will be working closely with the schools in the next few months to explore how parents and pupils can be supported to travel more actively where possible throughout the trial period and beyond.
Between September and November 2021 seven co-design events were held in various locations and online providing an opportunity for members of the public to share their thoughts and participate in co-designing the Frome School Streets scheme.
Between 4th April and 4th May the draft was available to review and comment on online and in person at Frome Town Hall. Drop-in sessions were also held at the Town Hall on 7th and 20th April and at the crossroads of Nunney Road and Oakfield Road on the 5th, 26th and 27th April.
Keep up to date
We have two mailing lists that you can sign up to to keep up to date with the School Streets project and Active Travel activities in Frome: