No mobile when mobile

An inspector’s conclusion that school children’s use of mobile phones would result in harm to pedestrian safety brought a knowing smile at DCP Blog HQ. 

In dealing with the appeal against refusal of planning permission for two houses on garden land in south Yorkshire, (DCS Number 400-030-386), the inspector noted that access would be by means of an unadopted highway that was primarily a pedestrian and cycle route forming part of a “safe route to school”. She reasoned that whilst the two new dwellings might not create a significant number of vehicular movements in themselves, it would still represent a doubling in the amount of vehicular traffic using the lane. For much of its length the lane was not wide enough to enable vehicles and pedestrians or cyclists to pass safely and, moreover, due to the bends along the lane, forward visibility was often limited. 

The inspector agreed with the council that as a “safe route to school” the route was likely to be used by children and young adults who have less road skills and who might easily be engrossed with their mobile phones. She reasoned that the character of the lane was such that they might forget that it was actually a vehicular route as well. Given this, and the designation of the lane as a “safe route to school” any increase in the use of the lane by vehicular traffic should be avoided, she decided.

There is a section on safeguarding traffic safety at accesses at 4.1515 of DCP Online.