Soham campaigners call for crossing after series of near misses outside schools

PUBLISHED: 15:30 28 June 2012

Cllr Julie Webb.

Cllr Julie Webb.

Archant

A CAMPAIGN has been launched for a new school crossing in Soham in response to a spate of recent near misses involving children.

Hundreds of school pupils flood in and out of Soham Village College and St Andrew’s Primary School every day, using the Sand Street crossing to make their way across the road.

The crossing is not controlled by traffic lights, however, and an increasing number of children have had lucky escapes after collisions with passing cars.

Now, just days after another near miss, campaigners have launched a petition to get a pedestrian crossing installed.

Town councillor Julie Webb said: “A push-button crossing is needed without a doubt, it is an accident waiting to happen.

“Trying to get across the road can be dangerous for the children and parents alike. There are about 1,300 pupils coming out of the village college and more than 100 at St Andrew’s so it is a problem that needs addressing.”

Cllr Webb said that she approached Cambridgeshire County Council about the issue but had been told that a crossing could cost more than £50,000. She has now asked for the issue to be raised at the next meeting of Soham Town Council.

Richard Liddington, head teacher at St Andrew’s School, has also been in contact with the county council over the issue.

He said: “I requested the installation of a pelican crossing outside our school, only to be told that a combination of the financial costs and the lack of recorded accidents outside the school meant that it simply wasn’t viable.”

A county council spokesman said: “We have not been approached by the campaigners as yet, but if they make contact we would be more than happy to discuss their concerns.

“It may also be possible for the community or organisations to request and help meet the cost of any agreed improvement work through the minor highways improvement arrangements.”

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