PARENTS and children staged a road safety protest calling for drivers to cut their speed on a busy Kendal road.
On average, five ‘near misses’ are recorded on the Sedbergh Road crossing each week where the road currently has a 30mph limit.
Jason Blackstone, father to six-year-old Castle Park School pupil, Samuel, headed the after school campaign.
“Is it going to take someone being killed before something is done,” said Mr Blackstone.
“The amount of near misses that occur every day is just far too frequent.
“The volume of traffic from the motorway to Kendal is massive, simply because it’s the quickest way in, but unfortunately the majority of drivers aren’t cutting their speed.
“We cannot afford to sit around and wait for something to happen before changes are made.”
The group held signs to the traffic displaying the slogans ‘Keep us Safe’ and ‘Slow Down for a Happy Town’, provoking a mixed reaction from motorists.
“We have managed to slow some drivers down today but even in the last 25 minutes we have had two near misses on the crossing,” Mr Blackstone said. Residents are calling for a traffic light system to be installed to stop cars accelerating down the 40mph Castle Green hill at the top of Sedbergh Road.
Supporters are hoping to work with local schools to make the area safer not only for children, but for elderly pedestrians and dog walkers.
Castle Park head teacher Helen Robinson said: “Ultimately we want something to make drivers aware that there is a crossing here. Children don’t have any other choice but to cross here for school and we need to do more to protect their safety as well as the safety of people living in the area.”
Kendal town councillor Austen Robinson, who has lived in the area for 30 years, sympathised with the campaigners' concerns. He said: “I think a traffic light crossing may be the only possible solution. It is deceptively difficult to spot the crossing as it stands at the moment” said Mr Robinson.
A spokesperson for Cumbria County Council said: “Improvements were made to the zebra crossing on Sedbergh Road about three years ago, including new signs and road markings advising drivers to slow down, and upgrading the belisha beacons at the crossing, making them more visible to drivers.
“Our accident records show there have been no reported accidents at this location, and we have no plans at present to make changes to the crossing.”