Yorkshire headteacher says proposed crossing could risk children’s safety

Western Primary School in Harrogate (Photo: Google)
Western Primary School in Harrogate (Photo: Google)

North Yorkshire Council unveiled a package of transport measures for the west of Harrogate at a meeting of the Harrogate and Knaresborough area constituency committee yesterday.

Speeding motorists have long been a problem on Cold Bath Road so the council has proposed extending a 20mph zone — as well as introducing zones by seven other schools in Harrogate — and the move has been welcomed by parents and teachers.

However, another proposal is to build a crossing point adjacent to Western Primary School costing £10,000, but it will not have traffic lights, meaning cars will not be forced to stop to allow children to cross the road.

The school’s headteacher Tim Broad said pupils at the school may not realise that cars do not have to stop for them which could put them in danger.

He urged the council to rethink its plans, adding that it was focusing on “economic concerns rather than safety of children”.

Mr Broad was unable to attend the meeting so a statement was read out on his behalf. He said: “Obviously I support any measure that supports improved safety for our children. I would like it to be noted however, I would prefer a controlled crossing as this would be much safer. With an uncontrolled crossing, children will still be dependent on drivers being aware and considerate as there will be no compulsion for them to stop to allow people to stop.

“This is also something we’d have to make clear to our pupils so they don’t have an expectation cars will stop. There’s a clear risk here if some of our pupils mistakenly believe vehicles will stop at this point. A zebra crossing, for example would be a much safer solution and would provide a safe crossing point for children who walk down Cold Bath Road”.

North Yorkshire Council has been approached for comment.