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Trial road closures around Moray primary school to improve safety could be expanded

Road closures have been trialled at New Elgin Primary School.
Road closures have been trialled at New Elgin Primary School.

Roads across Moray could be closed during school pick-up and drop-off times in an effort to improve pupil safety.

The streets surrounding New Elgin Primary School were shut for a single day last week as part of a trial.

Notorious illegal parking and congestion problems have blighted the area for years as about 500 students make their way to and from class.

Police have been called to the primary school, which is the biggest in the region, to monitor the behaviour of drivers in the past.

And they have witnessed motorists ignoring school crossing patrollers attempting to control traffic.

Now there are concerns that the situation outside the gates could get even worse following the withdrawal of crossing staff from schools across the region during the summer holidays.

Elgin City South councillor John Divers described last week’s initiative, which was spearheaded by charity Living Streets, as a “huge success”.

He has called for the half-hour closures to be implemented on a permanent basis at New Elgin and investigated for other locations.

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Transportation manager Nicola Moss said: “The responses have been very supportive, with a couple of minor technical observations about how we allow access for residents and people with a genuine need to get in and out in the short periods of closure.

“There is a suggestion for a more comprehensive trial before establishing a policy position.”

Streets at New Elgin Primary were closed between 8.30am and 9am and then again from 2.30pm to 3pm during the trial with parents encouraged to park further away from the gates to drop-off or pick-up their children.

Living Streets hopes the initiative will encourage a behavioural change among locals, prompting them to walk or cycle to school, making the area safer for pupils all pupils.

Mr Divers said: “To see children and families move around safely in front of the school was hugely welcome.

“When the possibility of removing school crossing patrollers was first brought forward a few years ago I wanted to make sure measures were put in place to ensure safety.

“Obviously things overtook us but this is something that will greatly enhance safety around our schools.”

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