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'Accident waiting to happen': Petition seeks speed reduction measures outside school

A new petition has been set up asking for speed calming measures to be installed along Daimler Avenue in Yaxley, near Peterborough, outside the Fourfields Primary School. 
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A new petition has been set up to request speed calming measures including a zebra crossing outside Fourfields Primary School in Yaxley (Picture: Google maps)

Earlier this week, it was reported that two school children ran out on to the road in front of oncoming traffic, although no one was injured. However, the incident has prompted a petition from Kevin Wells, who is urging for more safety measures to be introduced outside the school, including speed bumps or a zebra crossing. 

Kevin Wells said: "As a background to the petition: last night I was reading on Facebook about two children who ran out in front of a car.

"It was not the car owner’s fault, but this long stretch of road is known for speeding road users. We in Yaxley would like to see some sort of safety measures put in place along this road. Speed cameras would be a great benefit but we are petitioning for speed bumps and a zebra crossing." 

The petition is picking up momentum with residents saying measures are needed to clamp down on speed in the area, especially for the safety of the school children. 

A retired teacher who lives in the village, Marcus Connolly, says it's been an ongoing issue for years, but "concerns fall on deaf ears".

He said: "Daimler Avenue is a very long stretch of straight road and then you go onto Bentley Avenue which is another straight road - a big speeding concern. I can see they are not sticking to the speed limit. I am surprised there has not been a serious accident yet or a child has not been hurt.  

"But no one is interested. Police, council - it's all falling on deaf ears. We need a simple road hump to slow down the drivers or a crossing. That can make it safer but no, no one is interested. It's a huge concern. 

"Hundreds of people have raised these speed concerns in the village generally. But there needs to be some measures outside the school. 

"Of course I will back this petition. The headteacher, Sue Blyths, has had these concerns for years and is working hard to make it safer and she's struggled. All these concerns were raised and a meeting was held at Fourfields School back in September 2001, so they are ongoing for 20 years now. 

"The school worked hard and got the no parking measure placed outside the school.

"These safety concerns are well voiced. There's nothing anyone can do or wants to do. People are giving up now."

Fourfields Primary School has said it welcomes the petition and that it will back any initiative that promotes the safety of the children that attend the school.

The headteacher, Sue Blyth said the school had previously applied to install a pelican and a zebra crossing which was rejected. She said that a crossing would "give peace of mind".

Sue continued: "I have only been made aware of the petition because a staff member saw it on the Yaxley Gazette Facebook Page. 

"We have been working very hard for a number of years to improve the safety of our children around the school and were awarded, in 2019, the STARS GOLD Award for Sustainable Travel to and from school. This is a national award which we went to London to receive and acknowledges the work already done to make the school and the roads around it safer. 

"For example after lobbying for a number of years we finally got yellow zig-zag lines down Daimler Drive to stop parents parking in front of our new school entrance. 

"We actually applied for a pelican crossing and a zebra crossing but both of those were rejected. 

"We will back anything that provides a safer place for children and families to come to school and are very pleased that our local community support this too. 

"The school traffic isn’t as busy at the moment as children can now come into school within a 20 minute window which means the volume of people crossing the road at any one time is not huge. 

"It’s also important to note that children have forgotten about road safety as they haven’t had to think about crossing roads for some time, having been in lockdown so together with parents and carers, we need to help reinforce those messages. 

"The road in question just outside school is also near a very popular Co-op superstore and drivers don’t always use the road sensibly given due care and attention to the fact that there is a school close by. We see that at first hand every day. A zebra crossing would certainly give peace of mind."

Despite gaining support, the petition has received resistance from some Yaxley residents who are not supportive of speed bumps being installed. Some have said a reduction in speed limit might be more effective.

A spokesperson for Cambridgeshire County Council said of the petition: "Since 2017, there have been two Local Highway Improvement schemes around Fourfields School in Yaxley. A zebra crossing was installed on Broadway near Manor Close, and parking restrictions and School Keep Clear road markings have been installed on Daimler Avenue. 

"Further requests for traffic calming or crossings can be put forward for consideration and funding through the County Council’s Local Highway Improvement (LHI) process with support of the parish council."

The council have said, more information can be found here.