Shropshire Star

Students campaign to bring speeds down outside their college

Students from a specialist further education college near Oswestry are campaigning to get speed limits on roads outside their college reduced to a safer level.

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Students from Derwen College

Students and staff at Derwen College, in Gobowen, are urging Shropshire Council to take measures to make Whittington Road and Twmpath Lane safer to cross. The roads currently have speed limits from 40 to 60mph.

The college’s newly elected Student Union Board, led by new president Lizzie Allen, is taking on the important challenge as their first community campaign of 2023/24.

For learners at Derwen College, who have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), learning to be more independent is a vital part of their education. Roads that are difficult to cross are making independent travel more difficult, as students are nervous of crossing the busy road to get to the bus stops.

Student Union president, Lizzie, said: “I get a bit nervous trying to cross the road when there are lots of cars passing. Sometimes, it can take a long time to get to the bus stop.”

The campaign was launched as part of Road Safety Week, last month.

Students were joined by Councillor Craig Emery from the local parish council’s Speed Watch Campaign, who showed students how to use a speed gun to monitor the speed of cars driving along Whittington Road, outside the college.

The college also received a visit from West Mercia Police community police officers, who brought along police vehicles including a van. They spoke to students about road safety and issues around speed.

Derwen College personal development coordinator Tab Crinson and health and safety manager Charlotte Kettle coordinated events to raise awareness of Road Safety Week.

Tab said: "Students have been campaigning to address speeds on the roads around college. They have been sharing their worries about road safety and have came up with some great solutions, including a reduction in speed limit and a pedestrian crossing.”

Derwen College health and safety manager Charlotte Kettle has been looking into speed limits around other schools and colleges in the area, and says that Derwen College should have limits in line with other education providers, which are usually 30 or even 20mph.

She said: “Students monitored the speed on Whittington Road and found cars driving at more than 40mph. Students and clients are worried about crossing over the road to the bus stop on their own which has a negative impact on their independence.

“Supporting students towards a more independent future is our ethos at college, and learning to travel to work or the shops is a vital part of that independence for many students. Further traffic control measure would help students to feel safe and confident to cross the road with minimal support.”