‘LETHAL’ CROSS­ING IG­NORED

Par­ents brand coun­cil ‘cow­ards’ for fail­ing to tackle dan­ger­ous road

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - by KATY CLIFTON katy.clifton@trin­i­tymir­ror.com Twit­ter: @Katy_Clifton1

CON­CERNED par­ents have ac­cused Buck­ing­hamshire County Coun­cil of “ig­nor­ing” a dan­ger­ous ze­bra cross­ing in Iver Heath and have branded the au­thor­ity “cow­ardly”.

Af­ter a se­ries of se­ri­ous in­ci­dents along the Slough Road (A4007), in­clud­ing in­ci­dents of ho­mo­pho­bic abuse and phys­i­cal vi­o­lence, lo­cal res­i­dents have voiced their fears in meet­ings held at nearby schools.

At the gath­er­ings, which were at­tended by of­fi­cials from Thames Val­ley Po­lice and Bucks County Coun­cil, one con­cerned par­ent said the prob­lem is “get­ting worse”.

“There have al­ways been is­sues, but it’s been get­ting worse and it is be­ing ig­nored,” said the par­ent, who asked not to be named.

“First, they said they’d re­paint the cross­ing by Easter. When the lol­lipop man was clipped by a van we thought they’d do it sooner – how many months later are we?”

An­other said: “The Par­ish Coun­cil bought a body cam for the lol­lipop man over a year ago but the County Coun­cil won’t let us use them – even though plenty of other coun­cils have them.”

The cross­ing caus­ing con­cern links to Uxbridge one way and Slough via the A412 the other way, an ac­ci­dent hot spot which has seen over 350 road in­juries and at least seven fa­tal­i­ties in the past 16 years.

Par­ents of chil­dren at Iver Heath In­fant and Ju­nior Schools, lo­cated on ei­ther side of the A4007, ex­pressed their grow­ing con­cerns af­ter wit­ness­ing their lol­lipop man be clipped by a van.

“I thought he was dead,” lo­cal child min­der and par­ent Carol Cam­pling said af­ter wit­ness­ing the in­ci­dent. “The van bent the metal of the sign, just imag­ine if that was a six-yearold’s head.

“The coun­cil put him on sick leave for two months and there were sev­eral near misses while he was gone.

“We have got him back but it will hap­pen again, and Bucks County Coun­cil has done noth­ing to pre­vent it.”

Par­ent Steve Hall, who walks his chil­dren to in the In­fant and Ju­nior Schools each day, said the road is “lethal”.

“There is a mas­sive road safety is­sue that needs to be sorted,” he said. “Our lo­cal po­lice do a great job de­spite their lim­ited re­sources.

“The speed of the HGVs, the rac­ing com­muters avoid­ing the mo­tor­ways; it is lethal. This coun­cil is an em­bar­rass­ment.”

Peter Stan­hope, a lo­cal par­ent and PTA mem­ber, at­tended the com­mu­nity meet­ings, which he claimed were “in­fu­ri­at­ing”: “We’ve been promised ac­tion and sup­port and it keeps fall­ing through,” he said.

“Rather than face us with this month’s up­date, the se­nior coun­cil of­fi­cials didn’t turn up. It was cow­ardly.”

The res­i­dents are now fundrais­ing af­ter be­ing told the coun­cil would not en­tirely fund new flash­ing high vis­i­bil­ity signs or spe­cial­ist street fur­ni­ture to pre­vent fur­ther in­ci­dents, which have in­cluded ve­hi­cles driv­ing on the pave­ments to­wards pupils.

Paul Ir­win, Bucks’ deputy cabi­net mem­ber for trans­port, said the coun­cil had met with Iver Heath schools, par­ents, po­lice and lo­cal coun­cil­lors to dis­cuss a num­ber of mea­sures aimed at rais­ing the aware­ness of mo­torists to the pres­ence of the Ju­nior School on the main road.

“Ev­ery­one in the com­mu­nity is work­ing hard to sup­port the school’s pri­mary aim of mak­ing driv­ers more aware of the pedes­trian cross­ing there, to en­cour­age more con­sid­er­ate park­ing, and make chil­dren’s jour­neys to and from school much safer,” he said.

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