The Isle of Wight Council had a vision to become a world renowned Eco-Island where its residents and visitors can enjoy healthy lives and feel safe.
With safety as one of its key prerogatives, when the Council decided to reorganise its school system, closing some facilities and relocating children to others, it realised that a key element of the proposal was to ensure the safety of all pupils on their journeys to and from their place of education.
This decision prompted the Council to commission TMS to carry out a series of independent risk assessments on all the walking routes to the five secondary and 41 primary school locations.
For the secondary schools the walking routes within a three mile radius were assessed, whilst for the primary schools only those in a two mile radius were considered. TMS Engineers spent a considerable amount of time walking scores of miles on the Island as they assessed each individual route in detail.
The result was the production of a series of comprehensive route plans for each individual school, plus associated reports that included recommendations to remove hazards from problematic sites and on sections of road.
The final outcome of the project was the production of a GIS-based map of the whole of the Island that indicated the non-hazardous routes where suitable footways exist and the hazardous routes where there is no (or poor) footway provision. It also indicated those locations where remedial measures were needed in order to make individual routes non-hazardous in accordance with LARSOA Guidelines.
In the long term this will assist the Council to deal, in a proactive manner, with questions from parents concerned about the travel arrangements of their children, rather than having to undertake ad-hoc and time consuming investigations to individual requests.
TMS has a good working relationship with the Isle of Wight Council and this essential project is an example of the type of commission that TMS, as one of the UK's leading traffic safety consultancies, has the expertise and resources to deal with.