A PARISH council may get its wish of having a 20 mph speed limit put in place outside a school granted. 

Jonathan Brook, the leader of the Westmorland and Furness shadow authority, has pledged to help parish councillors to solve serious safety issues and traffic problems at Old Hutton Primary School.

Old Hutton parish councillors and the school’s head teacher John Turley voiced their fears for the safety of children and parents during a site visit by cllr Brook. They presented plans for a new parking area which, along with a 20mph speed restriction on the  B6254 outside the school, may provide a solution.

The parish council has been in discussions with the current highways authority Cumbria county council for more than two years but made little progress on either reducing the speed limit from 30 mph down to 20 mph or creating additional parking for parents dropping off and picking up their children at the school.

Westmorland and Furness council will become the new highways authority from April 2023. After meeting Cllr Brook, parish councillors were optimistic that solving the dangerous issues at the school will be given a higher priority.

Parish council chair John Heap said: “We have explored a number of different options to solve the safety threats and congestion arising from parents dropping off and picking up their children, and raised this issue time and again with Cumbria county council without achieving any positive movement. We now have a plan to create a new parking area and drop-off zone alongside the B6254 and Cllr Brook was able to see for himself the situation and agreed to help us solve this problem.

“We are hugely proud of the school which is very successful and now has more than 100 pupils, but this issue needs to be dealt with before a tragedy happens.  

"Parents stopping their cars or parking to drop off and pick up children often reduces the road to single-lane traffic.  The road which links Kendal to Kirkby Lonsdale is often busy and is frequently used by lorries and other large vehicles, which further exacerbates the dangerous traffic problems outside the school.

“Creating a new drop-off area will depend on having a 20mph speed limit on this stretch of the road – for which we need council support.  But a combination of these two measures will significantly reduce the risk to children, parents and residents.”