Calls for crossing near Drayton schools

(left to right) Francesca and Jonathan with their father Simon Thornton, and  twins Madeleine Cryer and Isabelle Cryer. Picture: Malcolm Wells (141694-4771)
(left to right) Francesca and Jonathan with their father Simon Thornton, and twins Madeleine Cryer and Isabelle Cryer. Picture: Malcolm Wells (141694-4771)
St Michaels Building, the University of Portsmouth. Picture: University of Portsmouth

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ALMOST 600 people have signed a dad’s petition calling for a pedestrian crossing at a dangerous junction near his children’s school.

Simon Thornton, 43, went to the Civic Offices to hand the signatures to a Portsmouth City Council officer.

Mr Thornton, of Drayton, first started lobbying more than two years ago for a pedestrian crossing at the junction between Havant Road and Farlington Avenue in Drayton.

Although he has so far been unsuccessful, he hopes his latest attempt to get a crossing installed will yield a better result.

He said: ‘It’s a major thoroughfare and pedestrian route for children to get to school.

‘A pedestrian crossing there would benefit not only parents and children going to school but other residents who want to cross the road.’

The area on the opposite side of Havant Road to Solent infant and junior schools is a large residential area and school catchment area.

In a letter to the council, Mr Thornton said: ‘I would personally never let my two children cross here alone, yet some do, and it is only a matter of time before a serious injury occurs.

‘What is the “cost of a life” in relation to the small cost of installing a pedestrian crossing? It pales into insignificance when compared to the injuries and trauma costs, when you take into account the attendance required by the police, an ambulance and all the nurses and doctors at the hospital.’

Mr Thornton said the lack of a crossing at the spot ran against the council’s Safer Walking Routes to School campaign.

‘[The council is] trying to encourage children and parents to walk to school, yet the omission of a pedestrian crossing across this main walking route to school is rather farcical, and surely a gross contradiction contrary to what you are trying to encourage children and parents to do?’

Mr Thornton said a crossing was particularly important to keep youngsters safe.

He said: ‘I saw two junior school pupils crossing in the same direction, one saying to the other, “let’s go after the blue car, there’s a gap then” and then they ran dangerously between two cars.’

Mr Thornton’s petition is at you.38degrees.org.uk/p/HavantRd.

The council was unavailable for comment on the issue when contacted yesterday by The News.