Accident fears for pupils of a Longridge primary school

Police have warned it is 'only a matter of time' before someone is 'seriously injured or worse' outside a Longridge primary school.

Wednesday, 15th March 2017, 4:16 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:46 am
Barnacre Road Primary School, in Longridge

Police have warned it is “only a matter of time” before someone is “seriously injured or worse” outside a Longridge primary school.

Concerned residents have also urged town councillors to consider enforcement action against inconsiderate drivers after a number of near-miss traffic incidents involving pupils outside Barnacre Road Primary School.

The ever-increasing risk of accidents to schoolchildren and residents in the narrow confines of Barnacre Road outside Longridge Barnacre Road Primary was reported to last week’s council meeting by residents Chris and Sheila Nolan.

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Now mayor Councillor Rupert Swarbrick, who is also chairman of the school’s governors, said the council noted the concerns and would take them to council highways and request an urgent response.

He said: “We will also write to all stakeholders on the road: the school, Longridge Hall and Lodge, Bury Court, both borough and Lancashire County Councils, to investigate enforcement action if necessary and make a focused effort to solve a major problem.

“We will also explore involving a private firm which could monitor drivers who enforce regulations, not just on Barnacre Road, but possibly throughout the town.”

The meeting also heard that local police had written to parents warning that the likelihood of a serious accident outside the school was high.

In a letter to the school, police community support officer Abby McDermott said: “There was a very near miss where a parent dropping their child off mounted the kerb and drove along the pavement, very nearly hitting a child.

“It is only a matter of time before somebody is seriously injured or worse. If any parent witnesses dangerous/inconsiderate driving or parking, including using their mobile phone, please do not hesitate to contact the PCSO on 01772 209583.”

The school’s headteacher, Simon Wallis, said they were aware of the problem and urged parents to park in a nearby supermarket to avoid the congested roads near the school.

Mr Wallis said: “I am in constant dialogue with parents urging them to take the opportunity to park at Sainsbury’s and walk their children to school following their offer to us some time ago.

“I have also written to parents about inconsiderate driving and parking and reminding them to be extra careful when picking up and leaving children.

“I went to the Bury Court building site also on Barnacre Road, and asked them to please avoid parking and delivering at school collection times. Vehicles going to Longridge Hall and Lodge residential home next to Bury’s are also obvious users of the access and have to be considered by other drivers.”

At last week’s council meeting, Mr Nolan told how the situation was becoming increasingly difficult for residents and pupils.

He added: “It’s a unique situation where children and residents come into contact with traffic in what is their road to school but, for residents, is a dead end in which cars have to turn.

“Drivers seem to use it without looking, parking there when they could use Sainsbury’s across the road. In the last five years, since Longridge Hall and Lodge opened, traffic has increased and people sometimes park on the road to go there.

“Bury Court has improved the situation as parking there dissuades others from coming up Barnacre Road, but we have to be aware that a child could be knocked down in the foreseeable future, and to do nothing is not acceptable.

“We feel passionate about this situation.”