Campaign to re-open St John’s Wood school gate fails to impress
Petition for Quintin Kynaston Finchley Road gate to be re-opened for sixth formers is rejected by council
A campaign by St John’s Wood residents, councillors and police officers to see the Quintin Kynaston school entrance gate on Finchley Road re-opened appears to have come to an end after Westminster Council rejected their petition.
Councillor Lindsey Hall submitted the petition, signed by 218 people, calling for Westminster to “improve the management of QK sixth form pupils, re-open a disused entrance on Finchley Road and improve liaison between the school and local police on these matters”.
Campaigners claim opening the gate for sixth formers would relieve pressure on Marlborough Hill where the main gate is located but QK headteacher Jo Shuter has ruled out the move on safety grounds following an incident 12 years ago when a student was killed in a traffic accident on Finchley Road.
Councillors have offered funding for a hut manned by a PCSO to monitor the gate but council officers say that “could bring the school’s reputation into question” and the gate “is viewed as unsafe”.
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Planning approval was last month given for a major �40million redevelopment of the school which is proposed for completion in 2014.
Cllr Nickie Aiken, cabinet member for children and young people, said: “We are sympathetic to residents’ concerns and the school is already working with them to discuss any issues.
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“The new design will help to address many of the issues raised as a dedicated area will be provided within the school grounds where students will be able to socialise. The new facilities will also include a specific post-16 entrance with appropriate safety measures.”
But Abbey Road Councillor Lindsey Hall says the decision has been made without the council seeing a key document from Transport for London.
“On behalf of the residents who signed the petition, the local police, the planning sub-committee and local councillors it remains a source of disappointment that the decision was taken without regard to the report we have been waiting for from TfL on the issue of road safety,” she said, “especially because road safety is stated as a principle reason for not recommending a trial re-opening of the entrance.”