COLERIDGE EXPANSION: does no-one care about safety?

WE find it deplorable that residents views were not included in any of the traffic studies carried out for the Coleridge proposals to double in size to 900 pupils. We live here! There is both a respite care home and a block of flats for frail and elderl

WE find it deplorable that residents' views were not included in any of the traffic studies carried out for the Coleridge proposals to double in size to 900 pupils. We live here!

There is both a respite care home and a block of flats for frail and elderly residents right opposite the new school. The safety of everyone is important, and we should have been consulted. We could even have advised them.

An extra 420 infants aged three to six all coming to the new TUC infant school in the rush hour are at risk in this proposal. Infants do not walk to school on their own. They will not be cycling (although the travel proposals recommend this!) They will be brought by a parent, accompanied more often than not by at least one little brother or sister.

A total of 44 new staff will be employed, but the plans have removed the existing TUC car park! Traffic consultants propose they cycle too, but the reality will be that their parked cars will add to pedestrian hazards.

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It is not surprising that Haringey's traffic consultants Morgan Tucker already assess that the ''potential for vulnerable road users to be involved in injury collisions ... could increase.''

As a result, the planning officer has had to make 13 recommendations alone, ''costed and worked into the scheme''.

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It is to be hoped that there will be consultation with the whole neighbourhood before all this is set in stone! They do not seem to have given thought to the journeys all the extra children will be taking, as well as the other school pupils who use Haslemere Road.

Many go to St Peters and St. Gilda's RC primary schools in Tregaron Road opposite, crossing the equally dangerous Crouch Hill. Surely safety measures should be put in place here. There is not even a lollipop man or zebra crossing, let alone a puffin crossing on Crouch Hill. Why isn't the traffic report suggesting this?

The only way to start to make this scheme safe is to put in road safety provisions on Crouch Hill, reduce the numbers of children using this new school to a more popular one-form entry, so they would come from a walking distance, with the provision of a staff car park so that cars are stored away safely from the road.

And the other solution is for Haringey Council to start to genuinely consult with residents - not when the decision has been made - but at its foundation.

It is the careful dialogue in the early stages, before the damage is done, that will make the difference between a good solution that works and a hasty one that can cause much harm.

Sue Hessel

Chair, Haslemere Road Residents,N8

IT is likely that on Monday night, Haringey's planning committee will give Haringey permission to double the size of Coleridge school on the TUC site.

If you are a parent and you do not like four-form entry, you can take your child away. The school's neighbours can't just walk away. Local residents will have to live with the consequences of the Coleridge Expansion Project.

We are told not to worry about the traffic. Some very clever consultants did a survey. True - but it took place when Crouch End Hill was dug up for roadworks - so maybe they weren't that clever.

The planners say it won't be that much different from living with the TUC training centre. But that was residential. Perhaps the planners don't realise that the parents will not sleep at Coleridge - they will do the school run twice a day. It is Haringey Council and its cronies who should go back to school - and learn to listen.

Stephen Hoyle

Haslemere Road, N8

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