Parents and children are jubilant after Dalston school gets crossing
PUBLISHED: 10:29 27 May 2014 | UPDATED: 11:02 27 May 2014
Parents and pupils are celebrating after their road safety campaign resulted in a zebra crossing.
Until this month, Queensbridge School which is located on the junction with Albion Drive in Queensbridge Road, Dalston lacked a crossing immediately outside for children to use.
After the school expanded and started a three-form entry in the reception class with 90 four to five-year-old pupils, fears about road safety prompted worried parents to lobby the council for a road crossing - particularly as there had been several near accidents.
Lead by Kate Cadbury, Bridget Doganis and Vivien O’Brien, the parents obtained signatures in support from another 350 people in support of a zebra crossing outside the school which has been rated as outstanding by Ofsted.
They then contacted Hackney Council and met with neighbourhoods cabinet member Cllr Feryal Demirci, principle road safety officer Elaine Beckett and senior traffic engineer Chris Proctor last May to demonstrate the dangers children faced crossing to the school in the morning.
They also wrote to MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch Meg Hillier.
The council conducted a formal needs assessment on the road in June to gauge whether there was a need. After it was decided there was, they wrote to parents in September saying they were seeking funding. Work on the crossing started in April and was completed this month.
A delighted Mrs Doganis said: “Young children and parents were taking their chances with the fast moving traffic to get across Queensbridge Road to the school gate.
“We witnessed several near misses and were terrified someone would get run over. Now the zebra crossing is used constantly, not only by Queensbridge pupils and parents but by numerous people walking between Haggerston and London Fields. It is much safer both for pedestrians and drivers.”
Mrs Cadbury added: “The whole process took a year from our first contacting the council to the zebra crossing going in. We are so impressed by how quickly they responded to us.”
Headteacher Sarah Bailey commended the parents, saying: “The crossing is fabulous. It’s fantastic. Some really key parents were instrumental in getting it. We have a really strong community. I’ve got 90 pupils in reception and 90 in year one. That’s a lot of babies. I’m really pleased. It’s a shame it was not located in a more strategic place away from the bus stop.“
A spokesman for Hackney Council said: “We’re pleased to have been able to install a zebra crossing for pupils at Queensbridge Primary school. The Council works closely with schools to improve road safety to make it safe and easy to get to and from school. All Hackney maintained schools now have School Travel Plans and there are 51 Junior Road Safety Officers who are working hard to make sure their fellow students stay safe.“
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