Schools wait­ing on safety

The Advocate (Perth) - - FRONT PAGE - Lisa Thomas

A CHIL­DREN’S cross­ing be­tween two busy El­len­brook schools is still un­der con­struc­tion after more than four years, de­spite safety con­cerns from par­ents.

Ellen Stir­ling Pri­mary School has been lob­by­ing for a cross­walk on Strath­more Park­way be­tween Ellen Stir­ling and Holy Cross Col­lege for sev­eral years, with the project ap­proved in Oc­to­ber last year.

De­spite the ap­proval, works for the cross­ing have not yet been com­pleted.

Safe Routes to School co­or­di­na­tor Rob Howes said the de­lays had caused con­cern for the par­ents and schools, with chil­dren risk­ing their lives on a daily ba­sis to cross the busy road.

He said there had been a num­ber of “near misses” and was con­cerned child safety was not a pri­or­ity.

“It took four years of lob­by­ing by the Ellen Stir­ling Pri­mary P&C to get an agree­ment by the rel­e­vant lo­cal and State Govern­ment to ac­tion the is­sue of traf­fic con­ges­tion and the safety of stu­dents cross­ing the road to school,” he said.

“To date the cross­ing is not op­er­a­tional, al­though the City of Swan has com­pleted ini­tial civil works (mod­i­fied foot­path, pro­vi­sion of cross-over and tac­tile mark­ings for sight-im­paired pedes­trian).

“It is un­likely that the cross­ing will be in ser­vice un­til at least the start of term 3, some nine months after ap­proval.”

Mr Howes said it was dis­ap­point­ing that there had been no ur­gency to get the cross­ing com­pleted de­spite the safety risk.

“For years the school has been seek­ing im­prove­ments to make it safer for stu­dents.

“The school shouldn’t be driv­ing this; there should be a push by govern­ment.”

City of Swan chief ex­ec­u­tive Mike Fo­ley said the City ex­pected to have the cross­ing com­pleted in com­ing weeks.

“The City re­ceives nu­mer­ous ap­pli­ca­tions for school cross­ings each year,” he said.

“We gen­er­ally can­not com­mit to im­me­di­ately un­der­tak­ing civil works for all re­quests as each is de­pen­dent on bud­getary im­pli­ca­tions.

“There­fore we must ap­pro­pri­ately con­sider each re­quest, bud­get for and pri­ori­tise them ac­cord­ingly.

“The City is re­spon­si­ble for un­der­tak­ing the civil works for this road cross­ing, which com­menced in April and were re­cently com­pleted on sched­ule.

“Main Roads are re­spon­si­ble for in­stat­ing line mark­ing, signs and bol­lards fol­low­ing the com­ple­tion of our civil works, and this is now un­der way. The re­quired line mark­ing has been in­stated and we ex­pect the signs and bol­lards will be in­stalled in com­ing weeks.”

Pic­ture: David Baylis

Rob Howes wants a school cross­ing in­stalled. d483445

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