Oakley Green, Fifield and District Community Association Ltd
Roads & Transport - Update Report 11
03.01.2014 - Update Report 11 - Braywood School Expansion – Consultation Update

Braywood School Expansion – Consultation Update

In September our Association, along with other interested parties and local residents, was invited to take part in a Consultation exercise about increasing the stated capacity of Braywood School from 125 to 150 pupils.

The subject of Braywood School and the impact on the local community continues to be an issue and is regularly raised in public meetings. Views are polarised – with school parents, staff and Governors on the one side and local residents and commuters on the other. However, it is generally recognised that:-

-The School has a good reputation and so demand for places is high.

-The current Catchment Area is large and the vast majority (90% +) of the children attending the school do not live within walking or cycling distance from the School. Most of the parents therefore choose to use their cars to transport their children to and from the school.

-Vehicles struggle to move along Oakley Green Road at “Drop Off” and “Pick Up” times and when special events take place and we have seen some “Road Rage” from users of the road. There have also been numerous incidents of cars being damaged through minor collisions. Mornings are worse than afternoons.

-The School Roll has continued to increase and has accelerated in the past three or four years in particular – from 86 to 134 Pupils = an increase of 48 Pupils or 56%.

-The School has endeavoured to reduce the impact on local road conditions by introducing staggered arrival and leaving times for the pupils and a “Kiss and Drop” Scheme. A Code of Conduct for drivers who visit the school has been recently introduced, but not all parents in a hurry adhere to it.

-The Royal Borough have introduced “Double Yellow Lines” at intervals on Oakley Green Road to ease traffic passing. These have helped to the east, but congestion to the west of the school is worse.

Despite laudable attempts by the school and RBWM to improve the situation, traffic flow and parking is still a problem and at times dangerous. In our response to the Consultation, OGAFCA wrote and formally expressed the resident’s concerns about the impact that the proposed expansion would have on traffic and parking and said we believed that residents would like to see a definitive plan, to significantly reduce the current level of congestion caused by cars and traffic, before they could go any way to support an increase to a new capacity of 150 pupils.

View our letter

In November the proposal to increase the capacity to 150 pupils was approved by RBWM’s Cabinet Committee. But they did acknowledge the Traffic issues and requested that “ ... the borough’s highways team investigate and implement further options for minimising the traffic impact of the school on Oakley Green Road.

We now understand from the RBWM Website that the Royal Borough’s Highway Team has considered the School’s Expansion Scheme and have decided that the option most likely to deliver further improvement to the parking and congestion issues is the provision of more off-road parking spaces.

View the RBWM Post Consultation Report which gives the justification for expanding the School