SADDLEWORTH Parish Council is calling for proposed highway changes in Diggle to be tried and tested before being put in place for a new Saddleworth School.
Oldham Council is committed to carrying out a number of highway improvements in the area to improve access to the school, which received planning permission in February.
The works along Huddersfield Road, including at its junction with the A670, could include a school zone, footway widening, and traffic flow control.
In addition, the approved planning application includes plans for an off-site parental drop-off area plus two residents’ parking areas.
But Saddleworth Parish Council is writing to Oldham Council to ask them to test out the plans by temporarily putting traffic lights in place before anything is confirmed.
Cllr Brian Lord put forward a motion at last month’s Parish Council meeting, which was passed with nine votes for, three against and two abstentions.
The motion seeks that “now planning permission for Saddleworth School has been passed, Saddleworth Parish Council requests that OMBC installs a temporary set of traffic lights, for a period of time, to replicate those shown on the plans before any further action is taken on developing the scheme.
“This, if taken during school term time, should show what sort of problems may occur should the present scheme be implemented after the school is built.”
Cllr Lord added: “I would recommend that before we go ahead with anything in bricks and mortar that we see what impact it would have on the traffic and residents who live there.”
Supporting the idea, Cllr Alan Belmore said: “Now the planning permission has been granted for the new school in Diggle, it’s important we formulate ideas like this.
“This is one of many we need to follow through to make sure we get the best solution.”
The new relocated school will increase to a capacity of 1,500 pupils and 189 staff, with about 80 per cent of them arriving by motorised transport.
There will be car parking at the school for staff and visitors, pedestrian access, and bus drop off and pick up areas.
But Cllr Katrina Roman commented: “I think it is a good idea to test out the system but without a school there it would be indicative but not a true picture.”
Cllr Pam Byrne added: “I do not see how when there is no school and not a similar level of traffic that it would be helpful.”