Ian Lucas MP is pressing Wrexham County Borough Council to reconsider plans to locate a Welsh language school in Borras.
While Mr Lucas fully supports the building of such a school in the borough, he says the site proposed by the council is unsuitable for a host of reasons, with the main concerns being over increased traffic and demand for parking.
The MP for Wrexham has written to the council and Mike Davies, Independent councillor for the Rhosnesni ward where the new 210-pupil school would be situated, outlining his views.
A proposal to consult on the setting up of a Welsh medium school was voted through by the council’s Executive Board at a meeting on Tuesday, July 10.
It would initially be located at the Hafod y Wern infant site but would eventually move into a permanent home in the infant building at Borras Park Community Primary School, with the refurbishment due to be ready September 2021. Infant pupils at Borras Park would be moved further up the road into the school’s junior classrooms, which are also to be redeveloped.
Mr Lucas is worried by the congestion a new school would bring to an already busy road – and says a more suitable location should be found.
He said: “I fully support the idea of building a new Welsh language school in Wrexham but the problem I have is with the proposed location onBorras Park Road.
“The proposal envisages a 50% increase in pupil numbers with the addition of the new school. Logically, it would increase current congested access by 50%.
“I can’t see how a relatively small residential street will handle the increase in traffic -; particularly at school opening and closing time -; and am not surprised residents have raised objections.”
The start times of the Welsh school and Borras Park Primary would be staggered by 15 minutes, in an effort to ease the build-up of traffic, while ‘walking buses’ (where groups of pupils are walked to school by staff members along a specific route) would also be introduced. However, Mr Lucas says staggering start times would have only a ‘negligible’ effect and walking buses would be ‘inadequate’ as children would be arriving from a wide catchment area and most would need to be brought in by car.
The MP is also worried about parking around such a congested area.
“The more parking provision that exists on site, the less land is available for educational use,” he said. “The overall impression is that of increasingly seeking to put a quart into a pint pot.”
Mr Lucas said the council had failed to take account of other proposals earmarked for the area, namely the housing estates on Dean Road and Cefn Road.
He said there should also be an ‘open discussion’ about the Borras Park Surgery, a mobile unit on the site of Borras Park School which serves the community and could have to be relocated when the school sites are redeveloped.