Sunday, 20 June 2021

New path to playing fields on the way

WORK has begun to build a footpath from Peppard Primary School to its new playing fields.

Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority, is creating the path from the school in Church Lane to land off the B481, north of Peppard Common, where a new £3million school is to be built.

The work was delayed after residents raised concerns about the children’s safety.

David Bartholomew, the village’s county councillor, said the route of the path had been modified.

He told a meeting of Peppard Parish Council that the safety concerns raised by residents had been addressed, adding: “Pupils are not going to be put at risk.”

The playing fields will be used from the start of the new term in September and a temporary building has been erected for use as changing rooms.

But at least one resident is still unhappy about the route of the path, saying it could out pupils and staff walking to and from the playing fields at risk.

In a letter to this week’s Henley Standard Philip Collings says: “It is one thing, as under the ‘park and stride’ plan, for one parent to be walking along with their own child whose hand can be held for safety but quite another for a group of tired children to be straggling back to the school from the field with their backs to the traffic and with only a couple of teachers in charge of them. 

“Even if the plan had specified that they must all wear hi-vis jackets and be tightly corralled, there must be a high risk of a speeding vehicle ploughing into them — it has happened before.

“Were I a parent with a child at the school I would want to know a great deal more about how safety will be managed on this dangerous journey before considering consenting to allow my child to make it.”

Mr Collings also complains that the council did not consult residents such as himself whose home will be passed by the footpath or publish any of the plan amendents.

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