Parents shoot down zebra crossing plan

St Anne's headmaster Jonathan Austin and councillors Mike Cook and Adam Stokes have highlighted speeding issues in Harrowby Road.. 970B
St Anne's headmaster Jonathan Austin and councillors Mike Cook and Adam Stokes have highlighted speeding issues in Harrowby Road.. 970B
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HIGHWAYS officials were told to go back to the drawing board as parents and residents rejected plans for a zebra crossing in Harrowby Road, Grantham.

Child safety has been a major concern for parents of children at St Anne’s Primary School ever since the lollipop man resigned because of fears for his safety while helping people across the busy road.

On Friday, Lincolnshire County Council’s Highways Manager Mark Heaton and Grev Burgess of Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership jointly put forward a plan for a zebra crossing directly outside the school.

However, parents said they felt the proposal would not slow down traffic and asked why they could not have a new lollipop person instead.

Mr Burgess said: “The number of children using that facility is not sufficient when there are other areas in the county that are more used.”

Many speakers stood up to share their stories of near misses on the way to school. One parent asked if a child had to be killed before they could have a lollipop man.

Mr Burgess replied “It’s a very emotive thing to say, ‘are we waiting for a child to be killed?’

“But I can say, if it is that much of a problem then surely by now there would have been a collision.

“In the last five years there have been two minor collisions. Factually, that’s what the information is telling us. So are we saying fix something that’s not broken?”

Mr Burgess said that if the zebra crossing scheme was accepted then he would put a temporary lollipop person in place. If it was used by enough people, then he would be prepared to make it permanent

He added: “But I’m not having a crossing person there crossing three children.”

Numerous people asked why they could not have a red light crossing instead but were told this would be much more expensive.

Mr Burgess said: “I know you would like the Rolls Royce version but I know and you know you would have to ask, which school do you want to close to pay for it? Which old people’s home do you want to close to pay for it?

“The money’s not there.”

The meeting was organised by Councillor Adam Stokes, who said he and the county council will listen to what was said and find a proposal the majority could agree with.

Coun Mike Cook, who has joined Coun Stokes in campaigning for action to make the road safer, said after the meeting: “It’s obvious the highways department of Lincolnshire County Council is not listening to the residents and the parents around St Anne’s School.

“It’s quite obvious the most simple and cheapest solution would be the installation of a patrol crossing person with flashing lights to warn of his presence. This would only make the crossing active during school hours, causing less disruption.”

This was the second proposal put forward by the county council. They had proposed a School Safety Zone for part of Harrowby Road, which would have a suggested speed limit of 20mph. But the scheme was rejected, mainly due to concerns over loss of car parking in the area.