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Lyme Regis schoolchildren worried their lives are at risk
7:20am Wednesday 6th March 2013 in Lyme Regis
LYME Regis schoolchildren are worried their lives are at risk from the ‘dangerous’ road outside St Michael’s Primary.
They have made a plea to drivers to slow down and think about what they are doing before there is an accident.
Pupils gave the same message to West Dorset MP Oliver Letwin when he went to talk to them about road safety on King’s Way.
His visit on Friday came after year 6 pupils wrote letters to him, calling for a lower speed limit, a safe crossing, and better signs.
They showed him the road and pointed out the danger areas, before tackling him on how he could help.
Pupil Jake Barnes said: “One day there will be an accident. They are putting children’s lives at risk.”
Classmate Kate Burnett said: “People should slow down and think about what they are doing. There have been some close shaves.
“The road is quite dangerous.”
Mr Letwin is now hoping the speed limit can be reduced from 30 to 20mph.
The pupils’ letters were sent as part of the year group’s Find Out Friday sessions, when they researched the dangers on roads surrounding the school during National Road Safety Week in November.
Katie said: “We told Mr Letwin how unsafe the road outside our school was. There have been little children who don’t really know about road safety and they have run out into the road and maybe a car could hit them.”
Jake said: “Reception children don’t know anything about cars and they go by so fast.”
The pupils have called for a 20mph speed limit on King’s Way, better signs warning drivers, and a lollipop person or zebra crossing.
“There is a sign that says ‘School Ahead’ but it’s on the wrong side of the road,” said Jake. “We would like a crossing if they have enough money or something that would give more warning to drivers.”
The pupils had no idea their letters would lead to a personal visit from Mr Letwin but took their opportunity to get their point across.
Katie said: “Mr Letwin said a lollipop lady or a crossing might be a bit too expensive.
“He was thinking they could get some signs done first.”
The children regularly cross Anning Road to get to the playing field, and this was also pointed out to Mr Letwin, who told them: “One step at a time.” The children have also appealed to parents to help by not parking dangerously.
Katie said: “I get dropped off to school then I walk the last bit and there are lots of cars parked on double yellow lines. It’s really hard to see cars coming and some have really quiet engines.”
Jake added: “Lots of cars are parked on both sides of the road, double yellow lines or no double yellow lines.” Teacher Nick Kiddle said they were surprised that Mr Letwin visited.
He said: “We are very excited and proud that Mr Letwin took the time out to come and see year 6. He has already said he is going to try and change the speed limit and put some signs up.”
Mr Letwin said: “I think the pupils have a real point so I am taking up with Dorset County Council the idea of a 20mph zone with much better signs. “I will be reporting back to the pupils in the near future. “It's good to see young constituents actively using their representatives.”
The MP will also request that the town and county councils’ speed indicator devices can be deployed on King’s Way.
POLICE have carried out speed checks on King’s Way and watched as vehicles park illegally.
Lyme Regis officers targeted the area at the beginning and end of the school day but said speeds were not as high as perceived.
The results were published by the police and showed the most common speed was 16mph, with no vehicles exceeding 30mph. PCSO Luke White said: “Hopefully by publishing this data people will see that in some places speeds can be perceived as faster than they are, and that vehicles are not breaking the speed limit. “This is not to say that the areas would not benefit from a reduced speed limit and I always encourage people who raise speeding complaints to also take their complaint to the local council who would have the powers to request any traffic calming measures.”
PCSO White said many vehicles park outside St Michael’s on double yellow lines and zig zag marks.
“This makes it dangerous for children crossing the road outside the school,” he said. “I would ask parents who illegally park outside the school to pick up and drop off their children to think about the reasons why the double yellow lines and zig zags are there, and to think about the risk they are putting their and others’ children in by parking there.”
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