Mum of Swanmore car crash boy backs festival funding for traffic calming

'˜WE don't want any other family to go through what we went through.'

Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 7:03 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 4:56 pm
Kyle Jonathan, Headteacher at Swanmore College on New Road, Swanmore has planned Swanfest to raise funds for traffic calming methods in New Road Picture: Malcolm Wells (180613-7842)

That is Vanessa Barrow’s wish after her son Felix was hit by a car outside their house in Swanmore in October, 2015.

Now Felix’s old school, Swanmore College, is staging Swan Fest, which aims to raise money for traffic calming measures in the village.

Vanessa said: ‘I think it is great what the school is doing as not only does it raise money but also raises awareness of what a big issue this is.

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‘The other day a car was flying down one of the roads at 60mph and turned into the village, which shows it is not just people passing through but also the people that live here.’

Felix suffered a severe brain injury after being hit and was placed in a medically-induced coma.

Vanessa said: ‘He is doing well now but we have what we call the new normal as he won’t ever be the same again.

‘We don’t want any other family to go through what we went through.

‘That is why it is important to raise awareness to drivers what can happen.’

At the end of last year, a Year 7 pupil was hit outside the secondary school on New Road.

Headteacher Kyle Jonathan said: ‘Our teachers go out and help the kids cross the roads at home time because they are so concerned over their welfare.

‘There have been quite a few near misses and we feel we need to do something.’

Local artists including Jerry Williams, Tom Bertram and The Collision are set to perform at the event which will also have fairground rides, a bar and food stalls.

Swanmore College Business Manager Chris Loveday said: ‘The festival will not only be a great event for our local community but help with funding for traffic improvements.

‘We want more pinch points in the roads around the school as there are no traffic enforcement officers in our area.’

‘We also want to move the bus stop directly outside the school because there have been near misses with people stepping out from behind the bus.’

Kyle added: ‘With developments popping up around us we need to sort this issue as there will be more cars in the area.

‘We want to protect our students.’

Swan Fest will take place at Swanmore College on Saturday June 23 from 12pm.

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