PARENTS and children from Selborne Primary School have turned out to protest against what they see as Hampshire County Council's failure to improve access to the school from the B3006. The road through the village, which was closed to through traffic on March 5 to facilitate resurfacing and the installation of traffic calming measures, was opened in time for Easter. But for protesters the scheme has been a disappointment. Nothing new, they say, has been done to the stretch of B3006 outside the school – there is no school crossing, safety rails have not been reinstated, and there is no sign of a 20 mph speed restriction. Furthermore, new pinch points in the village are not finished, there is only one crossing point suitable for a mobility scooter and that is on a blind bend opposite the junction with Gracious Street, the pavements have not been widened, and the improved road surface is encouraging motorists to drive faster rather than slow down. For Carla Coulston, who last October experienced "a near miss" at the hand of an impatient driver when crossing the road to the school, it is not good enough. She believes parents and children put their lives at risk every time they cross the road and that it will take a death to force HCC into taking the measures needed to improve road safety around the school. She told The Herald: "I don't want to be a vital statistic and I don't want my children to be either. "I've lived 33 years in this village and I'm furious about the outcome of the roadworks." Husband Mark was of the same opinion. "They've spent a lot of money on creating a race track and have done nothing to improve pedestrian safety. The traffic is actually travelling faster. "In fact, we've been told it's too dangerous to employ a lollipop lady." Joining the after-school protest were Tracy Bundy, Stephen Easton, Rachel Nottridge, Donna Davis, Nichola Martin and their children. They were in total agreement with the Coulstons – pointing out that during the morning rush hour the constant stream of traffic 'rat-running' between the A31 and the A3 made it so difficult to access the school on foot that many parents drove their children onto the premises to avoid crossing the road. What parents are calling for is a controlled crossing set in a 20 mph restricted zone so that their children can access the school in safety.
Protestors angry over school access
Thursday 19th April 2007 10:00 pm