School crossing to be upgraded along busy road

Sarah Owen and councillors outside Sandown School
Sarah Owen and councillors outside Sandown School

A crossing outside a primary school is set to be upgraded, thanks to a hard-fought campaign.

Hundreds of people signed a petition calling for East Sussex County Council (ESCC) to make the area safer for Sandown School pupils.

Teachers and parents called for a 20mph speed limit, safety barriers and a new crossing to be put in place.

The current zebra crossing had also been called ‘an accident waiting to happen’ by many parents. Some had even reported near-misses.

The county council has now agreed to replace the zebra crossing with a puffin crossing, which will include traffic lights.

The campaign for the upgrading at Sandown School was spearheaded by Mark Roberts, a father-of-three, Sarah Owen, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Hastings, and local councillors Michael Wincott and Richard Street.

Sarah started promoting the idea to improve the crossing as part of her Safely to School campaign.

She said: “This is great news for parents, teachers but most of all the children who will be able to cross the busy road safely. This is the third success for our Safely to School campaign, which has seen speed limits reduced outside schools and lollipop attendants saved. The improvements have been achieved at Sandown School due to the perseverance of parents, teachers and school children - particularly the hard work of Mark Roberts and teaching staff. I am extremely proud that together we have achieved a victory; however, we will continue to fight for further safety improvements.”

Councillor Michael Wincott said welcomed the commitment for this improvement but added he would continue to fight for more changes. These include lengthening the barriers at the crossing and pushing for the speed limit, directly outside the school, to be reduced to 20mph during the morning and afternoon school runs.