Free pass for peak parking in Corsham
5:00pm Thursday 18th October 2012 in News
A parking pass scheme is being launched in a bid to ease traffic problems in Corsham at peak times of the day.
Since the start of the year, measures have been introduced by Wiltshire Council to make the town safer for pedestrians and to reduce traffic queues.
These included a two-week traffic calming trial, introduced in South Place in May, which saw vehicles coming from Pound Pill being given priority over those approaching from Pickwick Road.
The trial had mixed results, so now the council is looking at introducing a pilot scheme where 70 passes would be given to schools, allowing some parents to park temporarily for free in the public car parks behind the Methuen Arms hotel and in Newlands Road.
Wiltshire councillor Dick Tonge, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “The main thing is always the safety of the children and over the last four years we’ve seen incidents involving children being injured come down by 40 per cent.
“The important thing is to establish safety in the minds of children when they are young and this should make them safer drivers when they are older.”
Coun Tonge said the car parks had been evaluated to establish, on average, how many parking spaces are free at school opening and closing times.
The passes would entitle the holder to free parking between 8.30am and 9.05am, and from 2.55pm until 3.45pm on weekdays.
The aim is that parents will use the car parks instead of parking outside schools when they drop off and collect children.
One of the schools expected to benefit is St Patrick’s, in Lacock Road, which has already introduced a number of measures of its own to improve road safety.
These include ‘wig-wag’ school warning lights, which flash alternately. They were installed last week and are expected to be in operation soon.
Head teacher Rita McLoughlin said: “I am really looking forward to the parking passes being implemented as it is going to be another stage in making Corsham safer.
“For a long time, our community has been working together to alleviate the traffic issues.
“The introduction of a lollipop lady has made a big difference and I’m sure the impending wig-wags will too. The key is making passersby know there are two schools in this area.
“These passes would be another step in ensuring we have safer roads.”
Wiltshire Council is hoping to launch the scheme soon and has contacted Corsham Town Council and the town’s chamber of commerce to get their views.
Wiltshire councillor Peter Davis, who is also a town councillor, said: “This will make the roads quieter and it will also improve the safety of children and adults walking to school.”