Parents fury over crossing to school

Parents, Pictured outside the Blackpool Council Offices on Corporation Street, campaign for new road safety measures on Devonshire Road.
Parents, Pictured outside the Blackpool Council Offices on Corporation Street, campaign for new road safety measures on Devonshire Road.
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CAMPAIGNERS concerned over road safety near a resort school took to the streets to demand action from Blackpool Council.

Parents, whose children attend Unity College, circulated a petition outside the council offices on Corporation Street in Blackpool yesterday after a seven-year-old boy was hit by a car.

Around 1,200 people have so far signed the petition asking for the council to take action to improve road safety before another accident occurs.

Parents, school representatives and council officials will meet at the North Shore school today to discuss the issue.

It comes after Unity pupil Kadon Chapman, seven, from South Shore, suffered head injuries after he was hit on Devonshire Road on Thursday morning, having stepped in front of a car.

Stephanie Carradice, 24, from Repton Avenue, North Shore, has two children – Leo, six, and five-year-old Leah – at the school.

She said: “We’ve had a couple of near misses – how long is it going to be before somebody’s killed?

“All we want is to get our views across to the council so we can understand each other with no screaming and shouting.”

Kelly Hurst, 24, witnessed the crash with her daughter Sophie-Lee Burns, seven.

She said: “My daughter was heartbroken and didn’t want to go into school.

“She’s got a fear of that road.

“Something needs to be done.”

Fred Jackson, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for streets and transport, said he hopes to reach a “resolution”.

He said: “The safety of pupils during their journey to school is something we take extremely seriously.

“At the request of the school we looked into providing a school crossing patrol.

“However, I understand this proposal was rejected by the school’s governing body who were not prepared to fund it.

“We would, of course, be prepared to look again at that issue.”

Coun Jackson was keen to stress that having asked officers to investigate four incidents connected to the school in the last five years, “none of those incidents would have been prevented by any of the measures proposed.”

He added: “Our road safety teams, who visited Unity as recently as last week, have been working closely with all schools to try to educate children about crossing the road safely.

“This is an issue the council has studied closely and I hope we will be able to come to a resolution that will be acceptable to parents, the school, the governing body and local residents.”

However Barbara Lund, headteacher at the Warbreck Hill Road school, who attended the demonstration, said: “I’m not aware of other schools in Blackpool that fund their own crossing patrols.

“The parents quite rightly feel very passionately about the need for more traffic calming measures around the school.”

Blackpool Council confirmed it does pay for some crossing patrols in areas where it is thought they are needed.

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