A BUSINESSMAN is donating high-visibility vests to pupils who have to cross a “dangerous” road on their way to school.
Matthew Smith, who owns logistics company Smith’s Solutions and Direct Kayaks in Hope, has offered to buy 100 hi-vis vests in a bid to make speeding drivers slow down as children cross outside the village.
Parents of pupils attending Ysgol Estyn are running a ‘Twenty’s Plenty’ campaign to push for the introduction of new road safety measures outside the school.
The issue hit the headlines earlier this month when lollipop lady Wendy Ellis, who returned to work on Tuesday after initially quitting after speaking out over the problem, came to the Leader for help in raising the profile of the road safety campaign.
Mr Smith, whose two children attend the school, said he wanted to help the community be “proactive not reactive” and do something to help before an accident occurs.
“People shouldn’t have to wait for an accident to happen before something is done,” he said.
“It is a very busy and fast road but we want to create awareness of the danger. The community is speaking out and trying to make a difference.
“If this saves just one accident then it will be worth it. We cannot make things foolproof but we can make them better.
“The school is the focal point in what is a great village to live in.
“We want to keep it that way and not see it tarnished by an incident.”
Mr Smith hopes the vests will encourage drivers to slow down and respect the efforts made by lollipop ladies to stop them while children make use of the zebra crossing directly outside the school on Hawarden Road.
The primary school currently caters for more than 200 children.
Mr Smith added: “Flintshire Council have to take a look and see what can be done.”
Mrs Ellis had been patrolling the road at the school for five years before quitting when she was called in by Flintshire Council after speaking out about safety.
She described the road as “dangerous” and parents have spoken of near misses when cars ignore her presence and continue to drive on at speed while children wait to cross.
Parents want to see a speed camera positioned near to the school.
Mark Robinson, of the Home Schools Association fundraising group at Ysgol Estyn, said: “For a local businessman to support this is a lovely gesture and I hope motorists take it on board.”
Neal Cockerton, head of assets and transportation at Flintshire Council, said: “Physical traffic calming is generally not provided on principal ‘A’ roads. However soft calming measures, school warning signs and 20mph advisory signs are already in place, together with a speed vehicle activated sign from the Wrexham approach.
“Such measures are there to raise awareness among motorists and it is their responsibility to drive sensibly and with care according to local conditions, particularly when driving in the vicinity of a school.
“A ‘Safe Routes in Communities’ bid has been submitted to the Welsh Government for funding to assist with the conversion of the zebra crossing situated outside Ysgol Estyn to a controlled puffin crossing.
“It is anticipated that a decision on the bid is expected soon.”