Call for councillors to step down after school children hit by car

PUBLISHED: 11:24 08 March 2007 | UPDATED: 12:18 04 May 2010

CAMPAIGNERS who fought to save an axed school bus service for Fordham have called for the resignation of councillors and a high-ranking official after three children were hit by a car on their walk home from school. Two girls in their final year at Soham

CAMPAIGNERS who fought to save an axed school bus service for Fordham have called for the resignation of councillors and a high-ranking official after three children were hit by a car on their walk home from school.

Two girls in their final year at Soham Village College were hospitalised after they were struck by a Fiat Bravo at Murfitt's Lane in Fordham last Friday afternoon.

Furious campaigners - who questioned the safety of the pedestrian school route before the bus was withdrawn last year - said emergency staff were amazed that one of the girls had survived after her head struck the windscreen and she was thrown over the car. She suffered amnesia and concussion and her arm was broken in two places but she is now back at school.

Another girl was treated at hospital for minor injuries after she was thrown to the ground, while a third child was also knocked to the ground.

Now, in an open letter, the group has called for those responsible for the decision to withdraw the service to resign, including county councillors Nichola Harrison, Sharon Lee, John West and Fordham county councillor John Powley.

They have also demanded the resignation of deputy chief executive of the county council, Gordon Jeyes, who they say "has repeatedly refused to come to Fordham to meet with concerned parents and see the dangers of the route."

Campaign organiser Nigel Gale said: "I hope this sends a clear signal out to them that routes to school across the county must be looked at.

"The road is patently unsafe; there is nothing between the road and the pavement."

He said the letter to the county council has the full backing of the parents of the girls who were knocked down.

"Whether it's more buses or making the road safer, something must be done," he said.

He said children are walking to school because of the £100 per term cost of a private bus, sub-contracted by the county council, while some parents have clubbed together for their own bus, at greater expense, as a snub to the council.

A Cambridgeshire County Council spokesman said: "We are concerned to hear about this accident and wish all three young people a speedy recovery. However, it would be inappropriate for anyone to speculate on the cause of the accident before any police investigation is complete. When we receive the police report we will consider whether any action needs to be taken."

Cllr Powley reiterated the spokesman's comments.

INFO: Cambridgeshire police are investigating the matter and are urging anyone who witnessed the collision to contact them on: 0845 4564564.

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