What is happening?
The St Mark’s C of E School was identified for expansion to help provide an additional 900 secondary school places, towards the forecasted demand for an additional 1,500 places overall.
The expansion of St Mark’s will create the first ‘All Through School’ in Southampton providing education from nursery to Sixth Form. The expanded school will also include new sports facilities, which will be centrally located and serve both the primary and secondary pupils.
The expansion project received planning permission in February 2020 and construction started summer 2020.
When complete, the new school will be accessed using the existing entrances on Weston District Cut (for the nursery and primary school), Malmesbury Place (staff car parking, coach access, and cycle parking), and Shirley Road (main administrative & disabled entrance, and secondary school). Access to the sports facilities will be from Stafford Road. The new site will see the number of car parking spaces expand from 34 to 55, in line with requirements set out in the SPD Parking Standards, plus the provision of 274 cycle parking spaces.
The expansion project is expected to be complete late 2022.
For the latest information on the school build visit the dedicated website: www.stmarksproject.com
How will the new school site be accessed?
St Mark’s will be accessed using the existing entrances on Weston District Cut (for the nursery and primary school), Malmesbury Place (staff car parking, coach access, and cycle parking), and Shirley Road (main administrative & disabled entrance, and the secondary school). Access to the Sports facilities will be from Malmesbury Place and Stafford Road.
The new school will have 274 cycle and scooter parking spaces and 55 car parking spaces.
More details of the new access arrangements are available here
Has an assessment been undertaken on the impacts of the larger school?
As part of the approved planning application a Transport Assessment was carried out. This was done to understand the impacts that the larger school would have on the surrounding streets.
More information on the planning application is available here.
What measures are being done to make it safe for people to get to St Mark’s School?
With the larger school there will be more pupils and staff coming and making journeys there. To make their journeys to school as safe as possible and encourage them to be made by walking, cycling, scooting or public transport, we are going to be developing a package of transport improvement measures on routes to and around St Mark’s.
Some have already been identified through the planning process, and some will be developed with the local community.
- A continuous footway across the junction of Malmesbury Road at Charlton Road, including planting;
- Changes to the junction of Malmesbury Road with Malmesbury Place, to create a modal filter and a crossing point;
- A continuous footway across the junction of Malmesbury Road with Shirley Road;
- Continuous footways across Stafford Road, Suffolk Avenue and Western District Cut, including restricted entry/exits and planting;
- Reconfiguring the eastern section of Suffolk Road with Arthur Road to create a modal filter;
- Upgrade the existing pedestrian crossings at Shirley Road/Howard Road junction to a scramble/diagonal crossing; and
- Extension of the existing bus lane on Shirley Road between Malmesbury Road to Howard Road.
Click on the map to expand it.
These measures have been identified as they help to make routes to the school safer and more attractive for walking, cycling and scooting. They aim to reduce the amount of unnecessary traffic in these streets while retaining access for residents and businesses. All the proposed modal filters will be supported by changes on surrounding streets and will be subject to full public consultation.
Alongside the identified measures, an Active Travel Zone (ATZ) is being proposed to further support safe and active travel to school.
What is an Active Travel Zone (ATZ)?
An ATZ seeks to develop neighbourhoods where it is easier and safer to move around for everybody – whether they are on foot, have mobility restrictions, or on a bike. This is done by reducing through traffic creating new, attractive and safe streets for people. Only traffic that is going into an area will be able to.
The St Mark’s ATZ is shown on the map, and potential measures in St Mark’s ATZ could include:
- Improvements to footways particularly where they cross a road;
- New facilities for people cycling including cycle parking and routes;
- Filters or restrictions to stop through traffic such as partial road closures or banning turns;
- Lower speed limits; or
- Timed closures such as the start and end of the school day.
An ATZ is developed in partnership with people in the local community including residents and businesses. From this process a package of agreed measures are identified and then implemented.
Where is the funding coming from?
The St Mark’s C of E School expansion scheme includes a £350,000 contribution to fund the identified measures listed.
Additional funding from the Government’s Active Travel Fund will be used to start to deliver the Active Travel Zone.
Who will be delivering the transport measures?
The works will be developed and delivered by the Council’s strategic highways partner - Balfour Beatty Living Places. This will be done in partnership with Faithful and Gould, who have been appointed to oversee a citywide school expansion programme, and Morgan Sindall, who are building the expanded St Mark’s C of E School.
More information on the school build is available on the dedicated website.
Will measures be permanent?
Some elements could initially be implemented using Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders. These enable Local Highway Authorities to trial measures for a period of up to 18 months. Measures are monitored throughout the trial period and can be adapted in response to the findings, and people can provide feedback during this period.
Subject to feedback, measures delivered as part of the St Mark’s transport package could initially be trialled to monitor their effectiveness before being made permanent. If the decision is taken to make measures permanent, they would be subject to a formal consultation process.
What other support is being offered to the school?
St Mark’s C of E School is actively engaged in the national accreditation scheme – Modeshift STARS, which recognises excellence in encouraging sustainable travel to school. As part of this programme, the Council has been supporting the school to deliver a range of transport initiatives aimed at encouraging walking, cycling and public transport use. They are expected to achieve their Gold award in the next year.
New initiatives aimed at pupils attending the nursery and secondary school will also be included as part of the supporting package of measures and the new School Travel Plan.
How can I submit feedback?
People will have the opportunity to submit initial feedback through an online survey that will be launched on Friday 11th December and run until Friday 15th January 2021. The survey will also be available in hardcopy on request. Further opportunities to comment on draft proposals will also be available during the design process.
Here is the link to the St Marks Perception Survey.
Residents are also able to submit feedback through the Southampton Travel Map.
How can I keep up-to-date on the development of the St Mark’s School transport package?
You can sign up to keep up-to-date on the latest information via email on the St Marks ATZ scheme by clicking here and adding your email address.