School children’s lives are being jeopardised every day as a result of a failure by the Isle of Wight Council to provide a proper pedestrian crossing in Gunville Road, Newport, say Island MP, Andrew Turner, and local councillors John Hobart (Conservative, Carisbrooke) and Chris Whitehouse (Conservative, Newport West).
The three have visited the spot where hundreds of pupils every day cross the busy road to get to The Spar shop, both before and after the school day, as well as in break times.
Cllr Hobart, who has been pressing for many months for a proper crossing to be installed says:
“We need a proper pedestrian crossing to improve road safety at this busy location. In the interim we have also been arguing for a crossing patrol person to supervise at key times. The position of patrol person is vacant and, having queried the issue with senior Council Officers, we are now told that there is “no capital allocation set aside to undertake this work during the current financial year.”
Cllr Whitehouse added:
“Over 3,000 pupils come to Newport West Ward every day to attend the schools in and around Wellington Road. Frankly, Gunville Road is a death trap and given the unique circumstances we are urging Council officers to look again at budgets to put children’s lives at the top of the list of priorities.”
The Councillors have already written to the Principals and Headteachers of all five local schools urging them to make representations to the Council and to encourage parents to do the same.
The five schools in the area are Carisbrooke College, Christ the King College, Newport Church of England Primary, Carisbrooke Church of England Primary and St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary.
Island MP, Andrew Turner, supports the Councillors, saying:
“John Hobart and Chris Whitehouse are right to highlight this danger. We simply cannot sit back and wait for a youngster to be seriously injured or even killed. Other people living in the area would also benefit from a pedestrian crossing, especially the elderly. I will be taking up this matter with the Council on behalf of local residents and all those who attend the local schools.”