CHILDREN walking to school prompted a lively debate among planners about a traffic barrier.
Members of the south and central planning committee of Hillingdon Council were keen to prevent the redeveloped RAF Uxbridge becoming a “rat run” for motorists wanting to cut a giant corner.
They were considering the details of a car park management plan and the best location for a barrier to safeguard parents, children and others walking or cycling to the new primary school that will form part of the 44-hectare site, which will include housing, shops and a theatre.
The school will replace what is now the athletics stadium, and will be accessed from Vine Lane and St Andrew’s Road, or from a new entrance at the Chippendale Waye roundabout in Park Road.
Councillor Dominic Gilham (Con, Yiewsley) pointed out that the barrier, which will only be passable by drivers with a swipe card, could cause a problem.
He questioned how anyone driving into the site in the hope of taking a shortcut would be able to turn around.
“A driver might come in, see the barrier and hope it will go up. It doesn’t. What then?” he said.
“And what if they then have someone behind them with a fob [swipecard]?”
Officers explained the route from both entrances could be well signposted, informing drivers there was a barrier restriction, and that turning space at the barrier would be adequate.
Householders, designated vehicles such as Royal Mail vans and council refuse trucks and emergency services will have swipecards.
The car park management scheme is intended to provide enough parking for the site without the need for overspill into surrounding streets.
Details of the scheme will be worked out by council officers and representatives of the two political parties.
Committee members also agreed to move the construction of the school into the first phase of the redevelopment, to make much-needed school places available sooner.