Path tops school agenda

Southern Telegraph - - News - El­lie Honey­bone

Road safety is a ma­jor con­cern for par­ents at Bal­divis Pri­mary School and they are ap­peal­ing to the Rock­ing­ham City Coun­cil to as­sist them in im­prov­ing road ac­cess to the school grounds.

Par­ents and Cit­i­zens mem­bers are gath­er­ing sig­na­tures for a pe­ti­tion re­quest­ing the in­stal­la­tion of a foot­path along Eighty Road for stu­dents and fam­i­lies to use.

Con­cerned par­ent Dave Ry­d­ing said the road’s edges were rough and nar­row and there were near misses al­most ev­ery day as cars and trucks squeezed past chil­dren on bi­cy­cles.

“I quite of­ten drive past and see kids on the side of the road, dodg­ing pot­holes and nearly get­ting hit,” he said.

P and C pres­i­dent Sam Yau has col­lected nearly 250 sig­na­tures in just five days.

She said she knew that many par­ents did not al­low their chil­dren to ride to school, but would change their minds if they had ac­cess to a path.

“The pick-up and drop-off times are chaos at the mo­ment; the stu­dent body has dou­bled in five years and we have mas­sive park­ing prob­lems,” she said.

“The pe­ti­tion is not for peo­ple who just want a path but for peo­ple who will ac­tu­ally use it.”

City of Rock­ing­ham coun­cil­lor Matt Whit­field has fought for this is­sue in the past and hoped this time there would be a bet­ter re­sponse since the hous­ing de­vel­op­ments were now closer to the school. “This is the old­est school in Bal­divis and the clos­est res­i­dences are only 2km away,” he said.

“We un­der­stand fu­ture hous­ing de­vel­op­ments close to the school make it dif­fi­cult to in­stall a per­ma­nent path but that’s not what we are af­ter — some­thing tem­po­rary will be fine as long as kids can safely get off the road.”

The City has is­sued a state­ment in re­gards to the foot­path re­quest and an in­ves­ti­ga­tion is un­der­way with the find­ings to be pre­sented at the coun­cil meet­ing on Oc­to­ber 29.

Other mem­bers of the Baldi- vis Pri­mary P and C said they of­ten stopped to pick chil­dren up if they had space in their car and had wit­nessed buses stop­ping to let chil­dren on for free just to keep them safe.

The pro­posed tem­po­rary path would fol­low Eighty Road and con­nect the school to es­tates along Nairn Drive.

Pic­ture: Kate Rus­sell

Con­cerned par­ents and P and C mem­bers Ash­ley Thorn­hill, Candice Cara­toz­zolo- Schiller, Sam Yau, Emma de Knegt, Re­nae Fus­sell and Dave Ry­d­ing with Coun­cil­lor Matt Whit­field.

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