Advice on design of cycle entrance to school

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Advice on design of cycle entrance to school

Postby adamant » 5 Feb 2008, 5:00pm

I am a governor at a junior school in East Anglia (it shares its site with an infants school). There are around 600 children on site during the day in total.

We are about to upgrade the facilities that we provide for those who cycle. There are a number of ideas in the mix, and I would be grateful for any advice, particularly from those who have grappled with similar problems.

At the moment we have a vehicular access to the school’s car park that is approximately 3m wide. Beside this is a 1m wide foot path. A brick gatepost and a strip of grass, approximately 500cm wide separate the two.

In the morning and evening there is a good deal of congestion around this entrance with the following all using it at once. Pedestrians – some of whom use the path way, some of whom walk on the road. Cars, which with only 3m, are effectively on single track (ie cars can either come in, or go out, but can’t do both at the same time). Cyclists, some of whom use the road, others the pathway. And, finally, people pushing buggies – again, some use the pathway, others the road.

We have funding and a will to improve matters – but how?

My hunch is that cars and cycles are a better mix than pedestrians and cycles – although the current proposal is to widen the pathway so that it can accommodate both. Any thoughts on the above, or examples, would be really helpful.

Secondly, we have a woeful cycle shed. Above about 15 bikes at any time, and it is not really any use. We are planning to replace this £10,000 worth of new bike shed, that will accommodate around 32 bikes. A big improvement, its true, and more importantly a very visible investment in cycling, but if cycle journeys increased by anything like the factor that I hope, it will quickly be over run. Again, any thoughts would be really helpful.

Needless to say, if I would be better posting this elsewhere, do let me know.

Thanks, in anticipation


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Postby fatboy » 6 Feb 2008, 8:03am

Firstly well done for getting the funding to do this and also well done for seeking advice from "knowledgeable" souls such as us :wink:

What age are the children likely to be? Junior school is 7/8 to 10/11?

I would agree that cars and bikes generally mix better than bikes and people, however if the kids are quite young then the parents might prefer the bikes and people options. If you were talking about a secondary school I would definitely be swinging the other way. It's tricky this sort of thing isn't it. Don't suppose that you could greatly restrict the amount of car traffic?

Not sure about the cycle storage options. You don't want too small but also don't want too big. If cycling takes off but not as much as you want then a very large empty bike shelter will illustrate this to the people who want to tell you that you wasted your money when you should have improved access for 4x4s!
"Marriage is a wonderful invention; but then again so is the bicycle puncture repair kit." - Billy Connolly

cross bill

Postby cross bill » 29 Sep 2008, 9:08pm

Without seeing the actual lie of the land, it's difficult to make any meaningful suggestions. However, perhaps you could see it as another opportunity to get the children (and parents) involved, by asking them to come up with some suggestions. From my own experience, if there's a car-sized space near the school entrance, you can rest assured someone will exploit it, come 3 o' of luck with the project. Shame more schools aren't as keen :wink:

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Postby Edwards » 4 Oct 2008, 8:33am

I work in a small senior school, about 720 pupils. When I started there it had very bad cycle storage. The bike sheds having been built in 1955. Usage was about 2 bikes a day in summer.
I proposed a cage that could be locked. This was opposed by some staff and the only funding I could get was for the temporary builders fencing. This had a gate in the design.
During the summer holidays 6 years ago I cleared some waste land and laid the slabs that had been lifted from another part of the site.
It was a sucess from the start with usage increasing every year. We now get over 30 on dry days year round 6 on realy wet days (it is rain that puts them off). So the need for a large covered shed is less. The school pupil council were then involved and they asked for more storage.
The school travel plan funded the small first part. So for the extension another aplication was made to fund this. It was granted.
My school is fortunate in that there is rear vehicle access so bikes use this.
We use a permision letter signed by parent/ guardian that says the bike must be in roadworthy condition and must be walked of the school site.
To cut a long tale short I think it best to get the pupil school council or what ever it is called and the parents involved from the start. It could then be open to them to give ideas. They know the problem and will hopefully feel ownership thus helping to police the use.
The one thing that does spring to mind is to ask bike users delay leaving by a few minutes.
One of the things that stoped the pupils using bikes was tyres needing air so we do inflate tyres for them in the workshop. We will also tighten loose handle bars etc.
Keith Edwards
I do not care about spelling and grammar

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Postby thirdcrank » 4 Oct 2008, 9:13am

I suppose if there is one thing that has really changed the design of schools in the last 50 years it is the need for a staff car park.