AN entire Herefordshire village is concerned for the safety of its schoolchildren following a series of near-misses on the A4111 in front Eardisley’s primary school.
Every parent at the school has added their name to a petition to improve the crossing at the school, however head Bridget Knight has been told by Herefordshire Council there is not enough money to complete the improvements.
Mrs Knight is leading for calls for an upgrade to a pelican crossing, which would be operated by pedestrians using a button.
She said: “Public safety should drive what’s being spent, not the other way around.
“We know the zebra crossing is hazardous and is not fit for purpose.
“We want something that is going to keep our children safe”
A school governor, Sarah Cook, was involved in a collision while using the crossing two years ago, while Mrs Knight says she regularly hears the “screech of brakes” while in the playground.
Problems occur when drivers on the road – a 30mph limit, unlike many of the 20mph zones outside urban primary schools – try to pass vehicles they believe to have stopped.
Chairman of Eardisley Parish Council, Clive Skelton said it is a worrying problem that has been going on for years.
“We don’t want anything to happen, but until there is a serious accident nothing will get done,” he said.
“Our village was built for horse and carts, and as it has grown our streets are having to handle a high volume of traffic, including large industrial vehicles.”
The petition had been posted in the village shop and pub, and distributed through a school newsletter.
It has now been signed by almost the entire village, Mrs Knight said, with the tally running into the hundreds.
The crossing is well used, with limited on-site parking meaning most parents use it on a daily basis to walk their children to school.
Walking to school, added Mrs Knight, is encouraged for health reasons and the school children participate in ‘Walk to School Week’ and take part in ‘walking busses’.
The crossing is also used frequently during the term, in order for classes to access the tennis courts or the local church for services.
The children themselves have produced road safety posters as teachers aim to highlight the dangers on the road in front of the school.
“The children are worried,” added Mrs Knight.