School’s plea over ‘dangerous’ steps
AHEADTEACHER claims ‘dangerously neglected’ steps outside a primary school are putting children at risk.
The steep steps outside Our Lady and St Anselm’s RC Primary School in Whitworth have no safety barrier on one side and the other handrail is rusted and corroded.
Safety concerns have also been raised about the unadopted road alongside the school where both pavements are in a rutted and broken condition,
Staff and governors at the school, which has 185 pupils, have been pleading with Lancashire County Council for more than five years to accept responsibility for maintenance of the area.
Headteacher Joanne Rainey, said: “The road and steps outside the school gates are a daily health and safety risk for those who use it.
“Both myself and the former head have requested maintenance and improvements for the last five years.
“So far, Lancashire County Council will not accept responsibility.
“The time has come for a clear plan to be drawn up to enable everyone the use of a safe, maintained street.”
School governor Peter Corder has spent considerable time researching who is responsible for the road and steps.
He said: “The county council have stated for many years that the steps and the road are unadopted and not the highways responsibility.
“I was not satisfied with that response as they are in a dangerous state for the very young and the elderly, as is the roadway with trip hazards galore.
“I have searched for records at the County Archives at Preston and found documents, confirming that the steps were constructed by the highways authority of that council as a footpath from Cowm Park Way North to St Anselm’s School.
“I also found documents showing that the roadway which was unmade, was made up by the same council, given the name Lime Grove and was adopted.
“I believe they are attempting to abdicate their responsibility to maintain the steps and road.”
A spokesperson from Lancashire County Council said: “Officers are currently carrying out investigations to consider evidence and advise whether the county council, as highway authority, should alter its records to include these steps as being maintainable at public expense.
“We expect that the report will be completed by the end of June.”
●● Children from Our Lady and St Anselm’s on the steps with teacher Mrs Helliwell and governor Peter Corder
●● The condition of the steps outside Our Lady and St Anselm’s RC Primary