As part of the Committee’s efforts to influence County Council plans to mitigate the impact of the Whitehouse Farm Development on Westgate, this traffic count was taken by the Chairman on Thursday 25-2-16 between 2.30 – 3.00pm, a time when most Bishop Luffa School Pupils are coming out. This was not a count conducted under scientific conditions, but it does gives us a idea of how many pedestrians and cyclists are expected to cross this busy junction with no protection.
273 Bishop Luffa School pupils in uniform crossed the road on foot. Of these 91 crossed Sherborne Road to the north of the roundabout. We only recorded the 182 pedestrians crossing Sherborne Road South, but there is no pavement round the corner in either direction on the west side, so they all also had to cross Westgate (West) as well.
78 other pedestrians crossed the road – some of these were Bishop Luffa Pupils not in uniform.
57 cyclists used the roundabout of which more than 13 were BL Pupils. (1 operator recorded the pupils separately from other cyclists, the other added the two groups together.)
During the same period (30 minutes) about 413 vehicles used the roundabout.
We also counted 2 wheelchairs/mobility scooters
The count was carried out by two operators standing at the Sherborne Road (East side) and Sherborne Road South (West side) crossing points. It was not easy to count all vehicles and pedestrians at busy times. Only vehicles on the near side of the road to the operator were included to avoid double counting. Pupils and pedestrians who also crossed the Westgate West arm (approx. 182) were not included twice, although they were at risk on two occasions. No vehicles were counted coming west out of Westgate, so a figure of 89, taken from the average weekly counter reading of vehicles travelling west during this time, was added to the vehicle count. A more accurate count would require three operatives.
There is a problem at this roundabout as there are no marked or priority pedestrian crossings. At school leaving time, 351 pedestrians (mostly children 11-15 years) and 57 cyclists use this roundabout and cross the adjacent arms at least once. In fact, there were about 533 individual pedestrian road crossings during the review period. This activity is shared with 412 vehicle movements during the same period. Many of the vehicles, especially those travelling north down the slope from Cathedral Way are moving at considerable speed.
A further 91 pupils will cross Westgate further to the east, so the provision of a pedestrian crossing across Westgate would further reduce the risk to the children.
There is urgent need for at least marked priority pedestrian crossings, on all four arms, at this roundabout and preferably a fully signalled junction.
The building of a Southern Access road to the Whitehouse Farm development, joining Westgate (West) near the roundabout will increase the volume of traffic very markedly, which will add to the danger to the children and should not be permitted.