New school road layout plans are cause for concern

Councillor Andy Lenaghan
Councillor Andy Lenaghan
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PLANS for a new road layout serving two schools have sparked safety concerns.

For decades parents have demanded safety measures outside Mill Rythe Infant and Junior schools in Hayling Island.

Currently, they drop children off at a car park in front of the junior school and go back out the way they came in.

But, under plans being drawn up by Hampshire County Council, an exit-only road will be opened up further along Havant Road for parents to come out of.

A meeting was held between the council, the schools and parents about the plans on Monday.

But not everyone is happy about it.

Robert Bond, 64, who is a full time carer to his four grandchildren, said: ‘Opening up this new road will create a very acute left hand bend.

‘When you need to turn to your left and a bus is parked at the bus lane to your right it is going to obstruct the view of the oncoming vehicles.

‘When I brought this up at the meeting the officer from the council said, hand on heart, that would not happen.

‘He said it would be safe and if necessary the buses would have to stop further back.

‘But I want to make 100 per cent sure this is safe before they go ahead with it.

‘The safety of the children and of the parents must be paramount here.

‘I think we need a lot more information before they go ahead.’

Mr Bond, of Copse Lane, Hayling Island, said he has no option but to drive his grandchildren to school because large parts of busy, winding Havant Road have no pavements and it is too dangerous to negotiate with small children.

Councillor Andy Lenaghan, who represents the island on Havant Borough Council, said something had to be done to improve road safety at the schools.

‘There have been problems outside the school since my children were there in the 1970s,’ he said.

‘Something does need to be done about the arrangements as they stand.

‘I welcome anything that makes Mill Rythe safer and I await the final decision on this.’

A spokeswoman for Hampshire County Council said: ‘A new exit road is being provided from the school’s existing access road to Havant Road. It will be on existing County Council land.

‘In conjunction Havant Borough Council is planning to introduce parking restrictions to reduce the congestion at the start and end of the school day.’