Pupils’ road safety plea gathering pace

Children with the petition to tackle' dm1515550a
Children with the petition to tackle' dm1515550a

CONCERNED teachers and pupils are appealing for the community’s support in their bid to have a £100,000 pelican crossing installed at a busy Littlehampton road.

Campaigners at the River Beach Primary School have launched a petition urging West Sussex County Council to construct the crossing in an effort to improve safety for those walking across Arundel Road.

So far, their efforts have proved fruitful, with almost 900 people signing either the hard copy petitions or the e-petition online.

Sue Bingham, travel plan co-ordinator at River Beach, said it was vital that something was done to improve safety at the road sooner rather than later.

“We do think that we’re very lucky that we haven’t had an accident already, especially at those peak times,” she commented.

“We have managed for quite a number of years without our crossing lady.

“Once she went it became evident that we could do with a new crossing lady but the traffic on the road is a lot worse than it was many years ago so we felt getting a new crossing installed wouldn’t just benefit the school but the wider community.”

The ambition is to have a new pelican crossing constructed between the junction of East Ham Road and Mantling Road.

The school’s safety effort was revealed to locals during a public meeting at River Beach’s main hall.

The gathering was organised by Littlehampton county councillor Ian Buckland and was supported by Mrs Bingham, River Beach head teacher Judy Grevett and West Sussex County Council school travel advisor Pene Mather.

The event, held on Wednesday (July 8), was arranged in a bid to give residents the chance to air their views about traffic near the school.

Many were supportive of the school’s petition.

However, others were critical of the numbers of parents dropping or collecting pupils from the school, clogging up roads and occasionally being abusive towards residents.

Mr Buckland urged those in attendance to write down the schemes they would like to see introduced to combat this, with ideas ranging from a ‘walking bus’ from the Waitrose car park to a residents’ parking scheme.

“I’m here to fight for you but. I promise you that we will listen,” he said.

To sign the school petition, see http://epetition.westsussex.public-i.tv/