'Lives at risk' on Easthampstead school crossing

Published: 2 Apr 2013 17:006 comments

'TERRIFIED' parents who fear for the lives of their children have launched a petition for traffic lights to be put up outside an Easthampstead school.

Protest for better traffic calming measures outside St Michael's CofE School, Easthampstead.

Protest for better traffic calming measures outside St Michael's CofE School, Easthampstead.

Jennifer Duncombe, who has two children at St Michael's CofE Primary, is spearheading a battle to make Crowthorne Road, outside the school, safer for youngsters and adults to cross during the morning and afternoon school-run.

The petition has attracted about 70 signatures from concerned parents in just two weeks.

Miss Duncombe, from Easthampstead, said: "My girls have been going to St Michael's for two years and in that time I've seen such a decline in the standard of driving on that road.

"They [motorists] ignore the zebra crossing all the time and sometimes cars just won't stop.

"The worst thing, more recently, is that cars are driving across the crossing when we're not clear of it."

To sign the petition, visit http://democratic.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/mgEPetitionDisplay.aspx?ID=22&RPID=9091997&%24LO%24=1

Miss Duncombe said that in recent weeks her friend's son was almost hit by a car when using the crossing - but

fortunately got grabbed out of the way at the last second. She is worried about the safety of her twin daughters, Charlotte and Amelia, aged six.

"It's terrifying. Because we see it all the time we're quite nervous," said the 40-year-old.

"We genuinely believe

somebody is going to be knocked down before too long."

She and other like-minded mums and dads argue the speed bumps along Crowthorne Road, and the zebra crossing outside the school, "aren't effective" and are calling for traffic lights to be installed instead.

"Motorists are less inclined to drive through a red light then not stop at a zebra crossing," Miss Duncombe explained. "The cars just come too fast."

She added: "It would be nice to see more signs saying 'school ahead' before and after the crossing as well. The council has got to do something."

According to the parents, seeing cars speeding and ignoring the crossing is a common occurrence.

Miss Duncombe said anyone who feels their children are vulnerable should sign the petition.

"Children need to be protected on our crossings," she said. Families are also calling for a fixed 20mph speed limit to be enforced along Crowthorne Road, rather than an advisory limit.

Bracknell Forest Council spokeswoman Alana Razzell said: "We are aware that a petition is on-going regarding the crossing outside St Michael's CofE Primary School. The petition runs until May 1 and will give it careful consideration once the petition has closed."

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  • bracknellian
    1 post
    Apr 2, 17:19
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    It beggars belief that Bracknell Forest Council are going to "give it careful consideration once the petition has closed". Why not do something about it now? - parents have made their voices heard already on this subject. The issues needs resolving urgently before a child is injured or worse!! Come on BFC do something proactive for a change!!

    Recommend?   Yes 6     No 4

  • TirelessTA
    1 post
    Apr 2, 18:04
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    I drive past the school twice a day, one of those being during the school run period. I don't usually find that problem is the speed of the cars going down the road as there are plenty of speed humps. However, I regularly have to drive around a lazy parent who has pulled up just outside the school to "quickly" drop their children off meaning I generally can't see if anyone is standing at the crossing. In the past 2 years of driving down that road I've never seen anyone speed through the zebra crossing. I have, however, seen many parents chatting to other parents while their children run towards the crossing unsupervised many times more than once a week. I always slow down just in case but on the days when parents are double parked up the road, it can get pretty dangerous. It's visibility, not speed, which is the issue. When there is that much traffic, you can't get much speed up anyway! Get a traffic warden or lollypop lady in at that time to keep the traffic flowing and to stop those few lazy parents making it unsafe for pedestrians and walkers.

    Recommend?   Yes 9     No 5

  • Flippy
    3 posts
    Apr 2, 18:42
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    Tireless TA - As you say you "drive past the school twice a day, one of those being during the school run period", would I be right to assume that you only actually spend about 30 seconds a day in the vicinity of the crossing during busy drop off/pick up periods?

    I agree about people parking outside the school to drop children off and that is unacceptable and also needs to be stopped.

    As 'bracknellian' says, the issue needs sorting out urgently before somebody else is injured or worse.

    Recommend?   Yes 10     No 2

  • messkefton
    1 post
    Apr 2, 20:48
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    I have to say I never see anyone speeding on that section of Easthampstead. Rectory Lane near Brakenhale and late parents steaming down Coningsby as I'm trying to drive out yes! In fact I know how little the council care as in Coningsby the corner by Glenfield House to the gates is "blind" due to cars parked, parents coming to park down the road drive down at speed and regularly expect me to reverse when I'm leaving the road to drive across town for my PRIMARY not secondary aged daughter! This topped with the ridiculous phasing on the roundabout which makes it very hard to get out of Rectory Lane adds to a stressful school run! I totally empathise with the parents petitioning, so many people today drive with a complete lack of respect for other road users and pedestrians and the council do nothing to help!

    Recommend?   Yes 0     No 4

  • Flippy
    3 posts
    Apr 2, 21:39
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    How odd that anyone would oppose something that made a crossing safer?!

    I find that very difficult to understand to be honest.

    Recommend?   Yes 8     No 1

  • DunMoaning
    71 posts
    Apr 3, 07:25
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    Reducing the speed will not slow people down. Because they want to speed. It is already illegal to drive faster than the road conditions allow. It only works if you enforce it with police presence - camera do not work as drivers just slow down past them and speed up afterwards same with sleeping policeman. As for people not driving across a red light - do not bet on it as I have been hit in the rear of my car at traffic lights becuase the coach behind thought I was going to jump them and he intended to follow me through. I stop at lights everyday and see drivers blast past me through red lights. I drive, walk and cycle on the basis of every body drives, walks and cycle like complete idiots then you cannot go far wrong.

    A one issue not raise is the number of children on mobiles and ipods as they walk along roads - they cannot hear and I have seen many a time children step of zebra crossing will chatting on phones and have not looked as they are distracted.

    Moral - get more police on our streets - people act and drive with respect with a police presence on our streets and roads.

    Recommend?   Yes 0     No 3