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Demands for new school crossing after child hit by car

Calls for a new road crossing near a busy Brailes school have been rejected by the county council, despite an incident involving a pupil.

Crossing (46140175)
Crossing (46140175)

The child was reportedly hit by a car, which failed to stop after the incident last month.

Fortunately the pupil was unhurt, but the incident heightened calls for something to be done to improve road safety. Brailes C of E Primary School joined residents and parish councillors in the demand, alongside district councillor Sarah Whalley-Hoggins and county councillor Jo Barker, who represent the area.

Christian Hilton, executive headteacher at Brailes School, said: “I think the county council needs to take into consideration that the school has doubled in size in the last five years to 100 pupils, there’s much more footfall and we now have a school bus – and it’s not a little minibus, it’s a big vehicle.

“There is a designated crossing place put in a number of years ago but it’s not in the best position. It’s on a hill, which makes it less visible – it’s not really suitable. I would really support something like a pelican, puffin or even a zebra crossing.

“We also need a dedicated stop for the school bus. People can still park in the village hall car park and walk across the playing fields to get to school, but not everyone comes from that direction and I don’t think there are enough parking spaces there anyway.”

Cllr Whalley-Hoggins said: “This was brought up in the parish council meeting and it was quite alarming to hear about this incident. The parish council has my full support in any action it requests.

"This incident really acts as a wake-up call for both motorists and pedestrians near village schools. We need to stay vigilant now that children have returned to the classroom after lockdown."

Cllr Barker added: “I would certainly support these calls for a crossing. It can be a tricky bit of road – I drive through there a lot and the traffic can get squeezed coming from Shipston. Highways at the county council are right that there are certain criteria that have to be met before a crossing is considered, but there is probably more concern about this now then I can remember ever before.”

Tony Ashall, chairman of Brailes Parish Council, said: “The parish council has requested that Highways at Warwickshire County Council look at this area to see if any improvements can be made. The chevrons down there are very faded. We’ve not asked specifically for a crossing at this stage but we have requested the county council look at the area.”

However a spokesperson for Warwickshire County Council said: “Warwickshire County Council is not aware of a parish council request for a crossing or 20mph zone in the village of Lower Brailes.

"In order to determine the justification for a controlled pedestrian crossing, the county council’s policy recommends that various factors should be considered when assessing the need, such as vehicle flow, pedestrian movements and highway layout.

“Whilst the council appreciates the reasoning for possibly requesting a controlled pedestrian crossing on High Street, it is very unlikely that the county council criteria for such a measure would be justified at this location, based upon our professional judgement and knowledge of the location.

"The criteria for pedestrian crossings requires an average of 1,000 two-way vehicle flow per hour and 90 pedestrians crossing the road per hour, over the four busiest hours of the day. In addition to this, thankfully there have been no accidents involving injury at the site in the last five years. Therefore, based on these factors, a crossing is not justified at this location."

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