Puffin crossing upgrade for road near Hope school

Published date: 08 April 2014 |
Published by: Robert Doman 
Read more articles by Robert Doman  Email reporter


CAMPAIGNERS have reacted with delight to the news road safety will be improved outside a primary school which hit the headlines over a lollipop lady row.

Parents of children attending Ysgol Estyn in Hope have been campaigning for greater safety measures on Hawarden Road.

Lollipop lady Wendy Ellis spoke out about the problem, quit her job after a row with Flintshire Council, before returning to patrols a fortnight later.

A £149,000 Welsh Government grant has been allocated to Flintshire Council, £66,000 of which is being used to upgrade the zebra crossing near the school to a puffin crossing with traffic lights.

The new crossing will feature a ‘green man’ light alongside the continued operation of patrol supervisors.

Chairman of Ysgol Estyn’s Home Schools Association, Mark Robinson said: “This is absolutely fantastic news.

“I am really made up and it is nice to see the council has taken on board people’s views.

“We wanted to ensure children got to school safely because there have been concerns an accident would take place there.

“It is a busy road but this will take a lot of worry from parents’ minds.

“It will also benefit other people in the community and it shows that people power can make a difference.”

Mrs Ellis made headlines last month when she quit her job after highlighting the road safety issue, only to be called in by Flintshire Council to explain her actions.

She quit, only to return to work two weeks later after parents spoke out in support of her.

Mrs Ellis had previously described the road as “dangerous” when she spoke to the Leader.

She said drivers speeding along the busy road, which currently has a 20mph speed limit near the school, could have tragic consequences.

Parents said they had witnessed cars failing to stop when the lollipop lady had been attempting to usher pupils across.

Matthew Smith, a businessman whose children attend the school, is donating high-visability vests to pupils in an effort to highlight their presence to drivers.

He said: “This move can only be a good thing.

“The community has spoken and this is a positive reaction from the council, which is very welcome.”

A Flintshire Council spokesman said: “As result of the submission of a Safe Routes in Communities bid application to the Welsh Government, £66,000 has been awarded towards the upgrade of the existing zebra crossing facility situated outside Ysgol Estyn Community School, Hope, to a puffin crossing.”

Deputy council leader, Cllr Bernie Attridge added: “The funding allocation is welcomed from the Welsh Government and the implementation will no doubt improve the crossing situation for pedestrians walking to and from school and will also have an effect on the approach speeds of vehicles from both directions.

“As well as the new puffin facility a school crossing patrol will be in operation, assisting in the safe crossing of children attending both the primary and the high schools situated in Hope village.

“The aim of the initiative is to promote and encourage walking and cycling as healthier alternative to car usage.”

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