'Dangerous' congestion: Harold Wood school's bid to ease 'highway safety issue' with new access gate

Harold Wood car park

Havering Council received Harold Court Primary School's application to alter its car park at the end of April - Credit: Google Maps

A Harold Wood primary school hopes to expand its car parking provision and install a pedestrian gate in a bid to ease “dangerous” congestion.   

The application by the governors of Harold Court Primary School, received by Havering Council at the end of April, says it aims to improve access to the school which is currently "not fit for purpose".  

It asks to put up a pedestrian gate, hoop-top safety railing and extend a gravel soakaway, as well as remove grass to make way for a free-draining Macadam surface for 10 cars.  

The plans say the school’s 389 pupils, staff and parents currently all use the south-east access point, causing drop-off and pick-up times to become “very congested”. 

Jams caused by the one-entrance bottleneck spill over into Church Road, it says, which becomes a “highway safety issue”.

The plan suggests the new access would be used by the junior school, with the infants continuing to use the existing south-east access.  

Junior school pupils and parents would use existing double gates and a new 2.4 metre-wide single gate at the back of the footpath. 

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An existing car park with nine bays along the south-west side would be relocated to the new area of the car park, while the gravel land drain at the back of the footpath would be extended across the new parking area.  

Plans would increase the school’s parking spaces from 25 bays to 26 and afford wheelchair access to the school building.  

If the plans were approved, a 1.2m-high painted hoop-iron top safety fence would be erected between the car park and the new access to provide safe passage for foot traffic.  

The report says: “Whilst alternations to the car park results in the loss of soft landscaping, this is offset by making safer improved entry points to the school for children, staff, parents and visitors.” 

A decision is expected to be made by June 28 and the application can be viewed using reference P0692.22.