Danger of busy March road thrust into spotlight after parents, children and residents unite for ‘Big Walk to School’

A PROCESSION of parents, children and residents have today completed a mass walk to school, thrusting the issue of safety on a busy March road into the spotlight.

Station Road was lined with more than 100 walkers as the campaign to tackle the traffic hotspot, dubbed an “accident waiting to happen”, accelerated.

The road is used by hundreds of pedestrians every day, with parents having to “run the gauntlet” to take their children to three nearby schools; Westwood, All Saints and Maple Grove.

Police halted traffic during today’s march, which saw children hold banners pleading for a pedestrian crossing. The protest has forced the issue onto the agenda of the town council’s next meeting.

Town and District Councillor Jan French said she was pledging her support to the campaign. “I’m surprised there hasn’t been an accident already,” she said. “It is an accident waiting to happen and one day a little kid is going to jump off the pavement and that will be it.

“It comes down to cost versus safety. The people of March are asking for help and the county council should look at it objectively.

“The campaigners have been knocked from pillar to post but at least now they have done the protest and got the signatures.

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“They have proved that people want this. I think this morning really showed the strength of feeling amongst the people of Station Road.”

Almost 500 people have signed a petition demanding a permanent crossing. Children at the nearby primary schools had also drawn safety posters as part of a competition, with the winning design, penned by eight year-old Rosie Beningfield, being used throughout the campaign.

As well as Cllr French, campaigners were joined at the start of their walk by Councillor Kit Owen, Fenland District Council’s cabinet member for shaping Fenland, Trevor Quince, March town councillor, and the town’s Mayor, Andrew Pugh.

Mum Tamsin Nichols, who has led the campaign, said the residents’ response to the calls for safety action had been overwhelming.

“The sad fact is that people are scared of that road,” she said. “It’s not that we want speed humps or anything unreasonable, it’s just a zebra crossing. We’ve even said that we would get the paint out and do it ourselves.”

Parents had attacked the current safety measures - two small islands in the middle of the road - as outdated.

Cllr Owen said: “There is a need, but we want to look at what we have already got there and improve that before we go for something new.”

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