Parents with young children say they are having to brave the “subway from hell” to reach their local primary school.
Scores use the tunnel under the M6 from Moss Lane, Leyland to get to and from St Catherine’s RC Primary School. But, since a fire a month ago, they claim the underpass has been unlit and littered with broken tiles, debris and a thick layer of soot.
“It’s appalling,” said Louise Nisbet whose four-year-old daughter slipped and fell in the subway, injuring her wrist and blackening her uniform. “I’ve complained and so too have quite a few other parents. We shouldn’t have to pick our way through all that mess to get to school in a morning and then back again in an afternoon.”
Vandals lit a fire in the tunnel at the end of October, melting the lights and causing considerable damage.
“They made a real mess and now it’s been left completely black inside with soot from ceiling to floor, with hazardous loose debris of tiles and cement all over the floor and no lighting along the whole stretch, making it completely dark and extremely damgerous to use,” said Louise.
“It is an essential and busy footpath link to both sides of Leyland. If we had to go round the long way it would take us another 20 minutes.
“It is also used by lots of pupils from other schools. In an afternoon, when it’s going dark, some children and parents have been using their mobile phones as torches so they can see where they are going.
“One morning my little girl slipped and hurt herself. She had to spend the day at school with a uniform full of black soot. Something needs doing urgently.”
The subway is the responsibility of Highways England who responded by sending a team to check it out yesterday. A spokesman said they had inspected it on safety grounds a month ago and cleaned it out.
“By November 3 the subway was completely clear of any obstructions and other debris. We are very concerned to hear if there has been a deterioration in conditions in the underpass.”