Petition calls for road safety measures at Cranbrook Education Campus

PUBLISHED: 13:39 20 February 2019

Traffic around the Cranbrook education campus. Ref mhc 07 19TI 9664. Picture: Terry Ife

Traffic around the Cranbrook education campus. Ref mhc 07 19TI 9664. Picture: Terry Ife

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Working parents say walking children to school is not an option, and they want safe drop-off areas and pedestrian crossings

Hundreds of parents have signed a petition demanding urgent action to improve road safety around Cranbrook Education Campus.

One resident described school run time as “an accident waiting to happen”, with erratic driving, congestion, irresponsible parking, and a lack of safe pedestrian crossings.

The petition, currently with around 340 signatures, was started by the education campus PTA, which is “very concerned” about the health and environmental impacts of vehicle emissions, as well as safety. It has also hit back at claims that parents are worsening the problems by driving to school from homes that are walking distance away.

It points out that while many parents do walk their children to school, this is not an option for those who work in other areas such as Exeter or Honiton.

“With the best will in the world, parents are not able to walk their children to school, walk home and then commute to work at a time that is acceptable to their employers. They have no option but to drive to school so that they can commute straight to work after drop-off,” said the PTA’s secretary, Bekki Mills.

Parent Kirsty Bailey said: “There is no suitable parking further away from the school for the amount of vehicles. There is no suitable safe cycling alternative. As a parent, the safety and health of my child is of primary concern. To insinuate that we choose to put their health at risk because of car emissions is offensive.”

The PTA’s petition, to Cranbrook Town and Devon County councils, calls for proper road crossings and other safety measures, including yellow lines restricting parking. The current crossing is an ‘unofficial’ one painted by the developers, on a road not yet adopted by the county council, which is against any road markings in Cranbrook. The town council has no power to introduce parking areas or restrictions.

Both authorities say they are working with other organisations to tackle the problems. Sustrans are looking into street design proposals to address barriers to walking and cycling. But requests for a parking and turning area near the school has been turned down. Cranbrook Town Council’s spokeswoman said; “We feel that, despite all the demands, there is no engineering solution to the issue of poor driving and parking.”

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