If you’d like to know more about the Frome School Streets scheme and the impact on Nunney, you can join a Zoom meeting with Frome Town Council on Tues 22 September at 7.30pm.
The School Street iniative is part of a nationwide project to help reduce congestion, reduce air pollution and encourage school age children to walk and cycle school.
A School Street is a road outside a school with a temporary restriction on motorised traffic at school drop-off and pick-up times. The restriction applies to school traffic and through traffic.
As part of the iniative, streets near schools become “access only”. The restrictions are in place 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – not just during school hours.
The streets will still be open to residents, disabled drivers, school buses and delivery drivers, but priority will be given to those who are walking, cycling or scooting.
Frome Town Council has identified Oakfield Road, Somerset Road and the top of Nunney Road as a potential School Street because it links five schools with over 1500 pupils (Oakfield Academy, Trinity and Critchhill School, with the Avanti Academy and Bright Stars nearby), to Victoria Park and runs along the NCN24 cycle route.
Other drivers are asked not to use cars on those roads “unless absolutely necessary”. It will be possible to cross Oakfield and Somerset Road, but you will have to slow down, and always give way to traffic leaving the School Street and give priority to pedestrians and cyclists.
The new scheme is projected to be trialled from 7 September when the new school term starts. If it gets favourable reviews the plan could become a permanent fixture.
The areas affected will initially be marked using traffic cones. If Frome Town Council gets extra funding from the Department for Transport, it will replace cones with planters and install cycle parking at schools.
For Nunney residents the scheme means that Frome Road will no longer be open to through traffic. By car, they will have to drive into Frome via the Ridgeway and past Sainsburys in future – meaning longer car journeys, more congestion and more polution.
Frome Town Council highlights its consultation with Nunney residents on its website, but denies that the scheme is ultimately self-defeating: “Some individual car journeys may be longer, but we are expecting an overall shift to walking and cycling and therefore an overall reduction in pollution.”
Frome Road has been one of the main access roads to and through Nunney since the very earliest days of our village as a Saxon settlement.
With traffic from Frome residents, delivery drivers and other other vehicles continuing, it remains to be seen how many Nunney residents will feel safe walking or cycling along Frome Road.
Following a meeting with Somerset Highways Authority and the Police Frome Town Council has now decided to delay the School Streets road scheme.
The trial will still go ahead but following comments from the Police and members of the public plans will be amended in line with local feedback.
This will allow the scheme to take account of local knowledge and give more room to fully engage with the school community.
Although the pop-up trial will not be in place for the start of term, it is hoped to be up and running over the coming weeks and both schools and the police are reiterating their support and the importance of active travel for the community.
Frome Town Council claims that the delay also has wider community benefits as after school clubs should be in place, the town centre works will also have finished and further conversations with the community will have taken place.
Frome Town Council are sending a representative to the Nunney Parish Council meeting to answer questions about the scheme.
Council meetings are open to the public and the Zoom invite information can be found on the parish council’s web site, along with the agenda for the meeting.
Frome Town Council has introduced the School Streets initiative in part in response to the coronavirus crisis. It has already admitted that the plans were put together in a hurry and may need changing.
The planned closure could potentially put a stop to drivers using Nunney as a rat run. The 83 new houses scheduled to be built at Green Pits Lane in Nunney could otherwise mean a substantial increase in traffic through the village.
Plans to introduce a 20 miles per hour zone through the village have already been approved. The costs of new traffic signs and such is expected to be met by David Wilson Homes, the developer of the new properties at Green Pits Lane.
But temporary traffic measures have a tendency to become permanent ones. This could carry the risk that our village could become something of a cul-de-sac.
Local residents have already called for signage at the top of the village, at Nunney Catch, to indicate that through traffic to Frome is not possible down Frome Road. They fear that without ample signage countless drivers will make a U-turn in our village.
Nunney is a popular holiday and leisure destination, but somewhat of a ‘hidden gem’ that could now become even more ‘off the beaten track’. The scheme could mean less business for the pub, cafe and shop in Nunney, for example.
You need to register in advance if you’d like to join the Zoom meeting on Tuesday 22 September at 7.30pm. It’s free. Just register at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_UW-Zzk-jQ0y9y2tIm7bX5g?fbclid=IwAR0Ayw3Ym8v2Mfd5-dW2-W7zxJVVASQ1Saxcpp_T7px3TKsCqIZQLnSTBVw.
After you register, you will receive a confirmation email with details of the Zoom meeting.
Questions can be sent in advance to Anna Francis at the council (email
Further information on the Frome School Streets Initiative and how you can provide feedback is available on the Frome Town Council website.