Near misses involving Ulverston school children lead to parents' petition for crossing

PARENTS and teachers are urging the public to get behind a campaign to improve road safety near an Ulverston school.

A petition has been set up to push for Cumbria County Coun-cil to introduce safe crossing and traffic-calming measures on Springfield Road, close to Ulverston Victoria High School.

The campaigners hope the county will consider, as a minimum, a pedestrian crossing with a mid-road refuge and lighting, with traffic calming.

Heading the campaign is Gareth Nicklin, who said he knew action was needed after he witnessed a near-miss on the road.

“About a year ago I was driving through here and saw two girls trying to cross the road,” he said. “I stopped to let them cross but another car appeared travelling at speed and had to do an emergency stop. I vowed to do something about the safety on this road.”

Some of the hazards are high-lighted in an online petition, which states that the risk presented to child pedestrians is elevated because of:

* The speed of traffic and poor visibility 

* Multiple turnings and junctions, together with the complete absence of a pavement in some places.

* The high number of children attempting to cross from one side of the road to the other at random locations at the same time

Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock, who is backing the campaign, said: “Gareth approached me at a surgery and he took me through his campaign and told me about his first-hand experience of the road. From then on I have fully supported the campaign. Something needs to be done – rather than authorities waiting for an accident to happen.”

John Griffiths, deputy headtecher of UVHS, said: “It has been a long concern that there is no traffic-calming measures on this road.

“It is incredibly busy in the morning and at 3.30pm there is a lot of traffic on the road with children trying to cross.”

The county council will debate the benefits of a safe pedestrian crossing outside UVHS on February 4.

To sign the petition, go to http://councilportal.cumbria.gov.uk/mgEPetitionDisplay.aspx?id=15.

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