Thursday, 18 April 2019

£50,000 crossing will help keep schoolchildren safe

£50,000 crossing will help keep schoolchildren safe

A NEW £50,000 zebra crossing has been installed in Woodcote.

The crossing in Goring Road, immediately south of the junction with Reading Road and Stoke Row Road, will be used by hundreds of pupils from the village primary school and Langtree School.

It was paid for by the parish council with a £7,500 contribution from Councillor Kevin Bulmer, the village’s representative on Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority, which carried out the work.

The crossing was first suggested during a public consultation exercise carried out in 2015 by the parish council’s traffic advisory group, which was formed during the preparation of the Woodcote neighbourhood plan.

Residents raised a number of issues, including speeding and congestion in Woodcote, but the top concern was the safety of children crossing Goring Road, which splits the village in half from north to south.

As well as the crossing, the pavements on both sides of the road have been widened. New street lights have been installed at the traffic island in South Stoke Road and the bus shelter just south of the crossing.

Next year a footpath across the village green will be laid so that children don’t have to walk along the busy street frontage in Reading Road, where drivers often exceed the 30mph limit.

Liz Hunt, headteacher of the primary school, said: “This is an incredibly busy road so the crossing is hugely important to the safety of the children. We have just under 200 children and I would say that more than half come from the other side of the street.

“This will also help children to cope with traffic in larger towns and cities. There’s nothing like this anywhere else in Woodcote but it will encourage them to look for a crossing wherever they are instead of just trying to cross anywhere.

“Our parents are very pleased with this, of course, as it makes their journeys much less stressful. So far the drivers have been very respectful and stopped when they’re meant to.”

Parish councillor Malcolm Smith, who oversaw the project, said the crossing would also benefit elderly residents of the sheltered housing in Mowforth Close and patients visiting the GP practice in the street.

He said: “We did a survey showing that 2,500 cars pass this spot in each direction every day so it will hopefully make things a lot safer for children and the many other people who cross it regularly.”

Cllr Bulmer said: “This is a good example of the authorities working together and I’m glad that I was able to help.”

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