‘We are dicing with death on school run’

The situation outside the school.
The situation outside the school.

Worried parents are concerned about the speed and volume of traffic outside a village school, fearing it is an accident waiting to happen.

Campaigners are desperate to improve the situation by Whittingham C of E Primary School, with some saying it is so bad they won’t allow their children to travel alone.

Northumberland County Council introduced a 20mph zone by the school in 2016, however worried parents believe more needs to be done.

Liz Knox, who walks her children to the school, said: “Myself and other parents feel like we often dice with death on the school run.

“The 20mph zone has had little effect. There are two 20mph signs, but there are no other indicators to slow down the traffic and no markings on the road to indicate the school is there.

“It is dangerous. We have to zigzag our way into school between parked cars, mini-buses – sometimes double-parked and reversing into the parking area – and dodge thundering lorries.

“There are families who have to walk along a section with no pavement and feel intimidated by the wagons, often in excess of 30mph in the 20mph zone. I fear there is an accident waiting to happen.

“I spoke to a resident who has lived opposite the school for 20 years and she says something needs doing, more than ever. One mum said she will not let her children cycle to school because it is unsafe and she only lives 200 metres away. I won’t allow my son to walk to and from school alone because of the issues, even though, as a Year 6, he is able to do so.”

A county-council spokeswoman said: “We will contact the school to arrange a meeting to discuss the issues. Whittingham was one of the first schools where the 20mph speed limit was introduced and we did carry out speed surveys before implementation.

“It may be that we need to undertake new speed surveys or even camera surveys to assess the situation. We would then consider whether any further measures are required.”