Calls for zebra crossing to be installed outside St Leonards primary school

Parents are calling for a zebra crossing to be placed outside a school.

Thursday, 25th July 2019, 4:01 pm
Cllr John Rankin with campaigners outside Ark Little Ridge Academy SUS-190724-143945001
Cllr John Rankin with campaigners outside Ark Little Ridge Academy SUS-190724-143945001

They said there have been several ‘near misses’ involving children and cars outside Little Ridge Academy.

Lisa Jenkins, who is the lead petitioner, said: “We need a safer crossing for our children. The crossing as it is now is very confusing for the children as some cars stop but others don’t.

“There have been a few near misses with children walking out as they think it’s safe to cross because a car on one side has stopped but the car on the other side doesn’t. We want to get a safer crossing installed before an accident happens.”

Conquest ward councillor John Rankin, who is supporting the petitioners, said: “As it appears the attendant has been removed from the site I would urge East Sussex County Council to seriously consider installing a zebra crossing outside Little Ridge Academy.

“A total of 370 parents have signed this petition in a short space of time, which shows the level of support when you consider that the school has 420 pupils. Little Ridge Avenue, on to which the school entrance is situated, has suffered from serious under-investment in its infrastructure over recent years.

“Central government has earmarked considerable extra funds for road and infrastructure improvements and I call on East Sussex County Council to invest some of these funds now in a deserving part of Hastings and St Leonards. There is road resurfacing and repairs to speed blankets to be done outside the school, which has now been promised for August after originally being promised in 2018.

“Parents are doing their best to encourage children to ditch the car on the school run and walk to school as a positive contribution to the changes needed to mitigate climate change and to promote good health among children and parents.

“The petition has also received a letter of support from The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, as there are visually impaired users of the school who need a safer environment to navigate Little Ridge Avenue.”

An East Sussex County Council spokesman said: “We have very limited funding for transport improvements and need to ensure this funding is directed to sites where it will have most impact and where the need is greatest. Any request for a pedestrian crossing is assessed against a range of criteria to establish whether it can be taken forward for a more detailed assessment to be carried out.

“We have assessed Little Ridge Avenue three times in the past five years to establish whether additional traffic calming or a pedestrian crossing would be a priority for funding, but none of the assessments met the criteria.

“Little Ridge Avenue is an approved school crossing patrol site funded by East Sussex County Council. Following the resignation of the previous school crossing patrol in December, we have been trying to recruit a replacement.

“Anyone interested in the paid role can call 01273 482293 or email the patrol supervisor via www.eastsussex.gov.uk/educationandlearning/schools/transport/schoolcrossingpatrols.”

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