Crossing appeal turned down

PUBLISHED: 09:00 27 October 2010 | UPDATED: 09:19 27 October 2010

Archant

A DESPERATE appeal for a crossing patrol outside a North Somerset school has been turned down as the school is considered too small to warrant one.

Parents and teachers at Flax Bourton Primary School have asked for a crossing patrol and a lower speed limit outside the school to protect children travelling to and from the facility.

The school is situated in Station Road, which is used by drivers to cut through from the A370 to Clevedon Road. Parents say the cars come along so fast they fear for their children’s safety.

Headteacher Jane Bennett said: “Road safety here is a real concern. The pavement starts quite a long way back and you have to be halfway across the road to see if a car is coming.

“Parents sometimes block the road with their cars to let their children cross safely, which defeats the objective, but we understand parents’ concerns.

“Unfortunately we have been told we don’t have enough children or enough footfall to hire a lollipop lady.

“We have been exploring a number of different options, but we’ve been told we aren’t able to have any traffic calming measures installed as there are no street lights in Station Road.”

The school has been working with North Somerset Council on its travel plan to make the road safer so children can walk and cycle to school.

Other options which have been ruled out by the school include a walking bus - which would still mean pupils crossing the busy road - parent crossing patrol - which was dropped due to the cost of training.

Ms Bennett said: “A travel officer from North Somerset came in and said that they might be able to put in some traffic calming measures such as road narrowing, but only if we had lighting.

“We would like the parish council to review its policy of putting no street lights in Station Road, because that’s preventing us from moving forward with some of the possible options.

The school has yet to approach Flax Bourton Parish Council, but clerk Ruth McNaught said: “We have no money in the budget whatsoever. If they approach us, we would then have to write to residents of the village advising them that in order to provide street lighting it would be a huge cost, and a continuing cost, and we would have to increase the precept significantly.”

In the meantime, the school is asking parents to park more considerately to ensure pupils crossing are able to see traffic in both directions.

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