'Protect our children': Parents launch safety campaign to tackle dangerous March road
PUBLISHED: 10:30 16 October 2010 | UPDATED: 15:55 16 October 2010
ANGRY parents who are tired of running the gauntlet on a March road branded an "accident waiting to happen" have begun a campaign to keep their children safe.
The concerned parents are calling for action on the busy Station Road, which is used by hundreds of pedestrians every day.
The road is a hot-spot for traffic and is used daily by parents walking their children to the three primary schools in the area; All Saints, Westwood and Maple Grove.
Campaigners are demanding a permanent crossing, claiming that it is only a matter of time before there is an accident.
One mother, Tamsin Nichols, who started the campaign, said: “My heart is in my mouth every time I cross that road. It is so stressful just trying to get my child to school.
“The traffic on there is phenomenal, especially with the railway crossing. As soon as the crossing opens it’s like the start of a drag race.
“The parents driving are worried they are going to hit children and they are scared to walk because they don’t want to run the gauntlet.
“A lot of them drive to school simply because it’s so dangerous to try and cross the road. It’s a vicious circle.”
Nearby Burrowmoor Road, which is similarly busy, has lollipop men and a pedestrian crossing to ensure the safety of walkers.
But campaigners have blasted the safety precautions on Station road as “out of date”.
Mrs Nichols said: “There are a couple of tiny islands which are impossible to stand on if you have a pram aswell as your child.
“Safety measures have been put everywhere else. Station Road seems to have been overlooked and it’s about time they got round to us. This is serious and we’re not going away.”
After being refused funding by the Safer Routes for Schools organisation, the campaigners have now lodged their case with the council.
A petition has been launched and a “Big Walk to School Day” is planned for November 26 so that parents can further highlight the issue.
Fellow campaigner Ruth Gowler said: “The road is an accident waiting to happen. It’s not going to be long before a child gets killed and then maybe something will happen.”
Teachers have been seen donning high visibility jackets to stop traffic themselves when helping children to cross the road to Sunday School.
Mrs Nichols added: “This isn’t a witch hunt. We don’t want to make anybody look bad, we just want to make people understand. We are not being unrealistic we just want somewhere safe to cross.”