Hackney Central primary school gets safety crossing after long campaign

PUBLISHED: 09:08 30 April 2014

New countdown crossing at Orchard Primary school after a year's campaign.

New countdown crossing at Orchard Primary school after a year's campaign.


A South Hackney school celebrated a double victory after getting an outstanding Ofsted and a safety crossing it spent three years campaigning for.

New countdown crossing at Orchard Primary school after a year's campaign.

New countdown crossing at Orchard Primary school after a year's campaign.

The crossing is the only countdown crossing outside the West End of London.

Last spring Orchard Primary School, which is on the corner of Well Street and Holcroft Road, sent a deputation to Hackney Council to campaign for a safer crossing on Well Street. The busy road was difficult to cross and resulted in children being marooned in the middle of the road while trying to get to and from school. There was no lollipop lady to help children cross either.

After six months of lobbying by staff, parents and governors, the council agreed to build the crossing in the autumn and TfL started work in January.

Children were able to use the new road crossing for the first time last month.

Stephen Hall, executive headteacher, said: “After the deputation, there was a lot of action and the police really listened. We have a very strong parent voice who are supportive and joined forces with us. The council and TfL have done massive improvement works. We now have a countdown timer and an island in the middle. The children don’t have to wait so long for the lights to change and they now have a 30 second countdown. It’s nice for them to see the numbers everyday. The council have also put a lollipop lady further down the street.

“Previously, it was an old Victorian junction with lots of access points. It was very scary watching children stranded in the middle of the road. It was very dangerous. Parents were also complaining their kids were being marooned in the middle of the road. It’s been an issue for a number of years.”

Chair of school governors Jo de Guia said: “Before we had a tiny space in the middle of the road where only one person could stand safely. It’s a great relief to know the crossing is as safe as it can be given that most of our children come from Frampton Park Estate. A big thanks is due to the parent body and governors Hannah Lownsbrough and Geoffrey Taylor.”

The school also received an outstanding Ofsted in the same week.

Mr Hall added: “We are absolutely delighted with it. The report says the teaching and children’s achievements and behaviour are outstanding. It reads really well.”

Cllr Feryal Demirci, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “We’re continuing to work with schools to improve road safety and develop School Travel Plans that make it safe and easy to get to and from school. The Council is pleased to have been able to implement the crossing.”

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