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Worried parents call for crossing patrol officer at Farnborough school

A petition has been set up after concerns were raised over Grange Junior School pupil's safety crossing Wren Way following several "near misses"

TMS A petition has been set up calling on Hampshire County Council to appoint a new crossing patrol officer before someone is hurt
A petition has been set up calling on Hampshire County Council to appoint a new crossing patrol officer before someone is hurt

A school in Farnborough needs a patrol officer to help children cross the road after a number of ‘near misses’ in recent weeks, according to concerned parents.

They say there have been a number of close calls outside Grange Junior School in Wren Way recently.

Liz Poore, 40, whose son Anthony, seven, is a pupil, has set up a petition calling on Hampshire County Council to appoint a new crossing patrol officer before someone is hurt.

Mrs Poore said: “After we went back to school this term, in two days we had three near misses.

“The first was when a mother and child were coming in the morning and a car nearly hit them, then carried on going.

“The second I believe was similar and the third was when a mother and child were crossing the road with the older child on a bike behind her.

"A car was parked where it shouldn’t be, on the zig zags, and obscured the child’s view and as he’s gone to look round the parked car, another one has clipped his front wheel.”

Cherrywood councillor and Grange School governor Les Taylor is one of those to sign the petition, having previously pressed for a crossing patrol officer.

“This time, with the parents taking up the fight, there is a real momentum to the campaign,” he said.

Hampshire County Council’s conclusions may be based on national criteria but it will only take one accident to show that a properly controlled, safe crossing point for such young school children is essential.

“A near miss and other incidents have occurred here since the decision to cease employing a school crossing patrol officer (SCP) was taken. The county council should listen to the people, do the right thing and reverse that decision.”

But Cllr Rob Humby, executive member for environment and transport at Hampshire County Council said the council would not be recruiting a crossing patrol officer following recent surveys it had conducted.

“In this instance, there is an uncontrolled crossing and this was inspected by an engineer to check if there were any problems with visibility or parking.

“The engineer found there were no issues with visibility and that the existing warning signs in place, ‘SLOW’ markings and red surfacing were all sufficient to alert motorists that a pedestrian crossing was coming up, and that reflective bollards sufficiently highlighted the crossing itself.

“High friction surfacing was also applied on both approaches to the crossing, further highlighting the crossing and improving skid resistance.

“Another traffic survey was carried out last year to assess the speed of vehicles. This showed the average speed of vehicles here was 26mph, and 24mph at the beginning and end of the school day. It also showed there was an average of four vehicles a minute.

“Bearing all this evidence in mind, we will not be looking to recruit a new SCP here. I’m afraid there are other schools in Hampshire that meet the criteria for an SCP and we will prioritise our limited resources to these sites.”

He encouraged the school to contact the council’s road safety team to provide specific road safety education in schools.

To sign the petition visit www.change.org and search for ‘Elizabeth Poore Grange Junior School’.

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