‘Children need to be protected from fast-moving cars’

The incident took place at a school in Southampton.

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THE safety of a school crossing area has been called into question by a concerned grandfather.

Barry Doust, a retired IT manager, picks up his eight-year-old grandson from Bosmere School in Havant once a week and is worried the area around Park Road South is an accident waiting to happen.

Some of the railings immediately next to the roadside near the crossing were removed by Havant Borough Council as part of a £630,000 revamp of Park Road South.

Railings were placed away from the roadside, next to Bosmere Pond.

The 69-year-old, of Rowan Road, Denvilles, said: ‘Several months ago I telephoned the council to express concern that young children could now run straight into the road and there was nothing to stop them.’

Mr Doust contacted The News as the safety of the nearby Bulbeck Road junction was called into question by Portsmouth’s coroner last week.

Mr Doust added: ‘I’m still concerned because I believe children need to be protected from fast-moving traffic, including heavy lorries, which fly past within inches of where they are walking.’

Steve Mountain, the council’s project engineer, said the design of Park Road South and North was ‘intended to open out the street and remove as much street furniture, such as railings, as possible’.

He said: ‘Future phases of work along Park Road South and Park Road North will further remove redundant sections of guard railings which serve no purpose other than to obstruct the footway.

‘Their removal will open up the street visually and will create more space on the footways for pedestrians.’

He said children are usually escorted by adults and there are two crossing attendants.

He added: ‘Where the children exit the school on to Park Road South there are not, and never have been, any railings – they were only present in the vicinity of the crossing.

‘Therefore to reach the crossing children have always already been walking alongside traffic. The road in this respect is no different than any other section through the middle of Havant, with the exception of the length between West Street and Elm Lane, where again the railings are proposed for removal in future work.’

A safety audit was carried out on the street design.