School drop-off safety fears

St Flannan's Primary School
St Flannan's Primary School

Parents claim a lack of safe drop-off points in the plans for a new primary school in Kirkintilloch will put their children at risk.

They expressed their 
concern this week as the public consultation on the design of the new school nears an end.

One mum told the Herald: “The council needs to listen to parents.

“The catchment area is huge as it takes in pupils from St Flannan’s and St Agatha’s primaries.”

East Dunbartonshire Council is merging St Agatha’s with St Flannan’s to form a new-build school on the St Flannan’s site.

Many of the children who formerly attended St Agatha’s will now have to negotiate several busy roads to get to school, said the parent.

She added: “Given that traffic wardens are not being replaced, there is a concern regarding children’s safety.

“As parents of children who will be attending this new build, it’s very simple. We are not advocating irresponsible drop-offs. We want a safe drop off zone to ensure our children’s safety.”

Parents said that while they agreed with the council that walking or cycling to school was beneficial for health, this was “not realistic”.

One said: “Parents work, hence the reason many have to drop their children near the school to ensure their child’s safety. One plan is to put a restriction order in place on Newdyke Road, allowing only buses to go up and down it in the morning and afternoon when schools go in and out. This may sound great in theory but what about the residents who live here?”

Director of education and children’s services, Gordon Currie, said: “The council is committed to encouraging sustainable travel to school in line with national planning policy. All children who live a mile or more from school are offered free school transport and for pupils living closer to school, the proposals for the new school will make walking and cycling easier and safer.

“We recognise not everyone can walk or cycle to school and the council is working with parents to identify and develop safe drop off points in the surrounding road network. The views of parents are taken very seriously and council officers have met regularly with parents and members of the local community in recent weeks.”