speed device SID not working outside Bridgemere School

A primary school near Nantwich has waited almost a year to have a speed warning device on a busy road repaired by Cheshire East highways.

Now staff and parents at Bridgemere CE Primary School have been told the SID (speed indicator device) on Bridgemere Lane may not be repaired at all.

The SID warns drivers using the road that the rural school is just around the next bend.

A parent governor raised concerns last January that the SID was not working.

Since then, Ward Cllr Janet Clowes said she has repeatedly asked CEC Highways to repair the unit.

She said they received a reply recently from Cheshire East Highways Safety Team which said: “It would appear that this SID may be faulty and as a result we will seek to remove the unit.

“Cheshire East Highways are no longer maintaining any SIDs on the network and will aim to remove any that are no longer working by returning them to the manufacturer, it should be noted that it will not be replaced.”

SID not working outside Bridgemere School (1)
Staff and pupils outside Bridgemere School and the broken SID

Headteacher at Bridgemere Caroline Middleton said: “Recently our head girls have been out along Bridgemere Lane with Councillor Janet Clowes to see the broken SID that no longer warns drivers to slow down as they are approaching our school.

“Cheshire East Highways have made it clear that they will not be replacing SIDs and this has obviously concerned pupils, parents, staff and the residents close by.”

Chair of Governors Liz Ford has written directly to Cheshire East Highways.

She said: “The school is situated on a lane which is used by a significant number of speeding vehicles.

“The safety of the pupils, staff, parents, and carers at our school is paramount and the current situation regarding the failing SID is one that cannot and must not be allowed to continue.

“I am sure (Highway Officials) would not want to be responsible for exacerbating the situation by failing to repair/ renew the SIDs without any further delay.”

Cllr Clowes added: “Cheshire East Highways have now said that the council is in the process of developing a new policy in relation to SIDs and have told me that ‘as a result, we will not be replacing or introducing any new SID units until the policy has been produced’.

“Whilst I accept the need for councils to review highways policies, we are talking about a narrow, rural road with no pavements, no street lights and no verges on this section of the lane.

“Traffic sweeps in off the A51 and without the SID, drivers are completely unaware that this rural school is around a blind bend and that children and parents will be in the road walking to and from school.

“It is a highly dangerous situation, made worse by the current dark mornings and darker evenings.

“I have asked Cheshire East Highways that if they are not prepared to repair the SID, then it is vital that they install alternative safety measures as a priority.

“We are still waiting to hear from them.”

A Cheshire East Council spokesperson said: “The safety of everyone using our roads and footways is of the utmost importance and we endeavour to ensure that all vehicle activated signs and time operated signs such as this one, are working efficiently.

“We have identified a faulty time operated sign in Hunsterson Road, which is a less busy road off the A51. Our engineers have repaired it. This is a pre-programmed, display sign, which only activates at certain times – in this case when Bridgemere School children are arriving or leaving.

“The sign is timed to operate between 8.30am and 9.15am and 14.45 and 15.30.

“All other signage – including road markings – advising motorists that they are approaching a school are in place and conform to road safety standards. Any concerns regarding speeding traffic approaching a school should be reported to Cheshire police.

“All repairs or replacement of traffic signs are prioritised in accordance with other demands on the council’s highways service.”

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