Croydon teachers given special permission to drive through low traffic areas

By Tara O’Connor, Local Democracy Reporter

Teachers working at local schools can now drive through restricted roads in Crystal Palace and South Norwood.

The physical barriers – part of a Low Traffic Neighbourhood in the area – have now been removed but they are set to be replaced with ANPR cameras, meaning those without permission will get fined for driving through them.

Previously it was thought this would just be residents that live within the zone.

But bosses at Cypress Primary School and Harris Academy Crystal Palace were seriously concerned about the impact on their staff.

In a letter Lynne Sampson, head of The Pegasus Academy Trust which runs Cypress Primary, said that staff were thinking of leaving their jobs due to increased journey times getting to school and travelling between schools in the trust – Pegasus also has three schools in Thornton Heath.

Ms Sampson wrote: “From a personal point of view my journey to Cypress Primary from Beckenham used to take seven to ten minutes. It now takes 25 to 40 minutes

“If I travel instead from Auckland Road the installation of the bus gate means I cannot access Cypress Road. Sometimes I park and walk to the school but I have so much to carry I have to make several journeys thus making my start to the working day very laborious.”

While these were her experiences while the physical barriers were in place she said that ANPR cameras would also impact schools and the mental wellbeing of staff.

In a letter written last month, Michael Williams head at Harris Crystal Palace said that longer journey times to school left some teachers “feeling like they are unable to balance teaching as a profession with their home lives”.

He said he is concerned that some of the 120 staff at the school would not want to have to apply for an exemption to pass through the LTN “to work and educate our nation’s next generation”.

Croydon council’s Traffic Management Advisory Committee met last night and voted in favour of increasing the categories of vehicles which will be able to drive through the ANPR cameras.

This already included residents in the zone, taxis, buses and Dial-a-Ride vehicles.

It will now be extended to include staff from Cypress Primary School and Harris Academy Crystal Palace, carers visiting residents in the LTN area and Blue Badge holders.

The cameras will be installed first for 12 months, when the LTN will be reviewed.

Pictured top: Cypress Primary School


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