Author Topic: Transport for London powers over private land  (Read 965 times)

Redlight

  • Enjoying life in the slow lane
Transport for London powers over private land
« on: December 03, 2018, 02:54:43 pm »
Not sure if this is the best place for this, but here goes.

My son's school is next to a very busy road and the pollution at the kerbside has been measured as being well in excess of the "safe" limits. The school has a large driveway between the road and the main buildings with in and out gates.  Air quality measured at the entrance to the building is at an "acceptable" level.  However, the measurement is not taken during the morning and (particularly) evening when the driveway is rammed with cars, most with their engines running while waiting for kids to emerge.  And, of course, many kids stand around in this fug, while waiting to be collected.  The school rules specifically state that parents should not drive on to the site to collect their children but this is ignored.

The school recently sent us its proposals for further limiting pollution levels across the site - planting trees, etc. - and asked for parents' views. One suggestion put forward was that 'no cars on the driveway' rule be enforced. This was dismissed with the explanation that "Transport for London will not allow us to close the gates as they are worried about waiting cars blocking the main road". 

I'm puzzled by this for several reasons - a key one being that the road in question is a Red Route with a bus lane running all of the relevant stretch of road, so cars would not be allowed to stop in it. A couple of days of active enforcement would soon establish that.   More to the point, can anyone tell me whether TfL actually has the legal power to tell the school, which is on private land, that it may not prevent vehicles coming on to the site? 

It feels to me that this is a lame excuse and the real reason may be that the school doesn't want to risk annoying the WankPanzer brigade, but I'd like to be sure of the legal position before I stir it up a bit.
Between the Disney abattoir and the chemical refinery

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: Transport for London powers over private land
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2018, 04:38:56 pm »
If a red route, no stoping unless in bays and during allowed times.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Transport for London powers over private land
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2018, 04:52:32 pm »
Hold on, let me take a sniff. Hmm, certainly very aromatic. One might say pungent. And strong notes of farmyard to it. Oh yes, I'm definitely getting strong farmyard and I'm sure a note of bovine.

I presume TfL may be concerned about the effects the school may have on the road. That might be valid.

Of course, it's maybe best to ask TfL directly while asking the school for the response they received from TfL when they queried the matter. I'd imagine they'd have that document on file.
!nataS pihsroW

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small just Far Away at the back

Re: Transport for London powers over private land
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2018, 07:20:30 pm »
As a public body any correspondence on this matter can be obtained via spending 5 minutes submitting a request via whatdotheyknow.com*, although you may have to wait a month or two for a reply. TfL generally has very limited powers outside its explicit remit, so I suspect they'll find either no correspondence recorded or it doesn't say what the school claims it says.

(* can you FoI the school too? I don't know)

TfL's current transport policy is all about traffic reduction and reducing air pollution. Some boroughs are putting in "school street" schemes (possibly with TfL money, not sure) where the road is completely closed to car traffic at the beginning and end of the day, and it's been found even small nudges greatly reduce the number of people driving their kids to school.

As you can imagine, any instruction encouraging motor vehicles onto school grounds would be completely at odds with all of that, so would be a minor scandal if true.

MikeFromLFE

  • Previously known as Millimole
Re: Transport for London powers over private land
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2018, 07:53:42 pm »
I live almost next to a school, is a similar situation, but a much smaller school. The local authority has imposed planning conditions on the school regarding the gates, and the use of the car park. This should benefit the local community (parking & pollution) but the school refuse to obey the restrictions and the council offices refuse to enforce the conditions ( they've told several local residents that ' they are the only one complaining - they've also told local councillors that only one resident had complained). I've given up, other locals have more energy than me.
The moral of my story is that you may have a long, long uphill struggle, but I wish you well.
Too many angry people - breathe & relax.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Transport for London powers over private land
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2018, 10:17:36 pm »
I'd call the school's bluff. Odds on they didn't ask TfL and are trying to avoid the fight with the wankpanzer kapitans.

Frankly, if it were my kids forced to breath pollution that the school was failing to do anything about, I'd make sure that wankpanzer kapitans were the least of their worries.
!nataS pihsroW

Redlight

  • Enjoying life in the slow lane
Re: Transport for London powers over private land
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2018, 11:17:01 am »
Thanks all.  I've gone down the FoI route for now as I don't want to stir it with the school until I know exactly what the facts are (headmasters can be vindictive bastards).  TfL's service standard is 20 days, which is fine.  I suspect that if there has been any correspondence, TfL will have advised that the school 'take into account' the risk of traffic impact on the main road and the school has gold-plated this into a ban. 
Between the Disney abattoir and the chemical refinery

Speshact

  • Charlie
Re: Transport for London powers over private land
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2018, 12:44:29 pm »
Ask the school/governors about their school travel plan too - current STARS status, their aspiration, plan and monitoring https://stars.tfl.gov.uk/About/Accreditation