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Pupils’ safety comes first says Newport headteacher, over road safety fears

By Mat Growcott | Newport | Education | Published:

A Newport headteacher has insisted that pupil's safety is an "absolute priority" after some children were taken out of classes amid fears over a dangerous road.

St Peter and St Paul Catholic School. Photo: Google StreetView.

Parents pulled their youngsters out of classes at St Peter and St Paul Catholic School off the busy Chetwynd Road, which has to be crossed for those attended a "forest school" class.

They said there is not enough signage to make drivers aware that schoolchildren may be crossing.

But headteacher Stacey Beale said that children's safety would always be put first.

"We also don’t want children to miss out on enjoying the beautiful natural environment and outdoor learning that is right on our doorstep," she said.

The junction where Chetwynd Road becomes Chester Road. Photo: Google StreetView.

"The Road Safety Officer has inspected and approved our procedures and risk assessments so that the children will be able to cross safely, and our wonderful Forest School provision can be protected.

“We fully support and plans for improvement at the location. To support this, parents and residents can write a letter to the Highways Department at highways@telford.gov.uk. Requests will then be formally logged.”

Russell Griffin, of Telford & Wrekin Council, said: “The council has been aware of concerns at this site for a number of years and our road safety team have been working with the school and the headteacher to put measures in place to assess the potential risk and put suitable mitigating measures in place.

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“Such measures include wearing high-visibility vests, members of staff standing in advance of the crossing point to advise of any hazards and also providing road safety education to the pupils to ensure they understand the risks when walking across or alongside a road.

“In addition to this, there are warning signings warning of the proximity of the school either side of the junction which are on yellow backgrounds to help highlight these further. We will look to see whether any improvements could be made to these signs."

Further improvements could be made in the area, he said.

“We are currently working closely with Newport Community Safety Committee to identify key issues in Newport and putting plans in place to deliver improvements as part of the Newport Enterprise Package where funding has been secured to deliver improvements throughout Newport town centre," Mr Griffin said.

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“This issue will be raised with the group to discuss whether the funding secured as part of the Enterprise Package should be used on undertaking addition improvements at this location.

“It is also worth noting that the nearby housing development at Edgmond Road and the planned one north of Plough Lane both complied with the National Planning Policy Framework and therefore there was no reason in planning law to oppose those applications.”

Telford & Wrekin Council said it was working with Newport Councillor Peter Scott on the issue.

Mat Growcott

By Mat Growcott
Reporter - @MGrowcott_Star

Shropshire Star reporter

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