July 4, 2016
Drivers urged to slow down outside Burnham school after safety scares

Staff and parents at a Burnham-On-Sea school are this week urging motorists to slow down after several road safety scares caused by the lack of a crossing patrol officer.

St Joseph's is currently without a 'lollypop person', but many children and their parents still have to cross Oxford Street to reach the school.

After two incidents over the past week in Oxford Street outside the school, parents are appealing to drivers to be aware of children crossing.

Parent Claire Edwards, who crosses Oxford Street each day with her three children to reach the school, told "We're urging motorists to slow down and take extra care when children are heading to and from the school."

"On Friday, I was crossing with a group of mums and allowed plenty of time for the children to cross when one car kept coming towards us and then actually tried to drive around the children as they were walking across. It was so dangerous."

"We need a new crossing patrol person here as soon as possible, but in the meantime we are asking drivers to slow down."

A spokesperson for Somerset County Council told "We have been made aware that St Joseph’s School in Burnham is currently without a Crossing Patrol Officer."

"We would urge drivers using Oxford Street near St Joseph’s to please slow down, observe the Children Crossing sign, and where it is safe and possible to do so, to stop and allow children and their parents/carers to cross the road safely."

"We would also like to encourage parents, where possible, to always escort their children across the road when arriving and leaving the school."

Another parent, Jacqui Strong, added: "I saw a lot of distress on one parent's face after she tried to cross with a group of other parents and primary-aged children on Friday without our school crossing patrol. A group of parents were crossing and a car tried to overtake the group in an area with reduced visibility."

"We are currently without a crossing person for the foreseeable future and we are not sure how long this is going to be the case, but evidently the flashing amber signs with the warning 'Children Crossing' sign are not enough."

She added: "We need to highlight this to the public for the next three weeks until the children break up from school. If drivers are aware and see groups of parents with young children trying to cross the road, they will hopefully slow down and possibly assist by stopping to allow the group to cross."

A St Joseph's spokesperson said the school is without a cross patrol officer for "confidential reasons". The spokesperson added that the school has invited parents to consider getting trained in order to take on the role in the short-term.


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