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Thursday, 2 August 2007

Safer Routes for Schools for...




Read about the Conservatives' campaign for Safer Routes for Schools in the Evening Post by clicking here!

When was the closest you came to getting run-over? Most people have had at least one near miss- the moment when your mind has been wandering and a vehicle whisks past your nose, or knocks the back of your bag. Then you can't help but think of the terrible sequence of ifs. IF you had been one inch more off the curb. IF the vehicle had come a second earlier... The last time that happened to me was when I was on my way to Westbury-On-Trym School's 'Red Squirrel Day'. Anyone who has been to Westbury-on-Trym Church of England School knows that you are taking your life in your hands if you go at drop-off or pick-up time. But amazingly, earlier in the year, the Council retracted on its promise to give the school funding for the 'Safer Routes to School' programme. The reasons why beggar belief:
More than 2,000 children died on British roads last year, while around 100 children in Bristol were injured or killed on the roads in the same period. What were the Council waiting for?!

1. That the school had been so successful in encouraging parents not to take their cars to the school gates that it was no longer necessary. ( you only have to go there at pick up time to see that's not quite true! said the Head to me)

2. That it was too expensive. Despite the fact the school had requested cheaper measures than the Council originally insisted on being put in place before they retracted the offer.

3. That it was not necessary because no children had yet been injured! More than 2,000 children died on British roads last year, while around 100 children in Bristol were injured or killed on the roads in the same period. What were the Council waiting for?!

You may have heard my interview on Original FM, supporting Conservative Councillor Geoff Gollop's petition to the Council meeting on 24th July. The petition received huge support and I am pleased that the Council took Geoff's petition seriously and is referring the matter for further investigation.

The School had originally requested quite modest traffic calming measures to put in place, but the Council had instead insisted on a more expensive version, which it later said would break the bank. Hopefully now they will at least let the school have the modest traffic calming measures it said it originally wanted. Before a near miss becomes a tragedy.

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