Shrewsbury school zone to get new safety measures after children hit by cars

A school zone where several children have been hit by cars is to get flashing speed signs and a new crossing thanks to road safety campaigners.

At the Radbrook Road Safety meeting were (front) Katie Blant and Angela Warren, and Councillor Chris Lemon, Shropshire Council's Ffion Horton and teacher from The Priory School, Jeremy Tudor
At the Radbrook Road Safety meeting were (front) Katie Blant and Angela Warren, and Councillor Chris Lemon, Shropshire Council's Ffion Horton and teacher from The Priory School, Jeremy Tudor

Radbrook Road Safety Group has been calling for fresh safety measures on the roads surrounding The Priory School and Meole Brace Secondary School after multiple incidents of youngsters being hit. A boy was knocked off his bike the week before last. He was okay but left "shaken up", according to a teacher.

At the group's latest meeting, Ffion Horton, from Shropshire Council's strategic development team, said flashing signs would soon be put up in Bank Farm Road, as well as a crossing in Sweetlake Meadow. She also said that designs were being looked at for the Roman Road/Longden Road roundabout, and that the area has been put on the council's "accident cluster site" list. That means the area has been earmarked for more expensive, long-term measures to be implemented in 2023/24.

The group was set up by Angela Warren after her son Joe, a Priory pupil, was knocked off his bike in September. Now fellow mum Katie Blant is on board after her 11-year-old son Sebastian was sworn at by a driver following a near miss when a motorist pulled out of his driveway. Sebastian, a Year 7 student at Meole Brace Secondary School, told his mum that the driver got out of his car to confront him.

"When he came home he was shaking and petrified," she said. "I feel like I have to do something about this. I'm going to have three kids going to school there soon. I don't want this to happen again."

Around 40 people were at the meeting, including concerned residents and town councillors.

Ffion told the group: "So far we've ordered some flashing signs. We've got six ordered for Bank Farm Road. They're the ones which show a frowning face when you speed, and a smiley face when you're the correct speed. They should be arriving in the next couple of weeks and should be installed relatively quickly."

She also said that a speed survey on Bank Farm Road showed 90 per cent of cars drove above the 30mph limit. "I think it's quite shocking, the speed that we see. The average speed on the road is 36 to 37mph. We know there is an issue there and it's not acceptable."

Parents are particularly concerned about the Roman Road/Longden Road island, which cars often approach too fast, forcing children to try and dash across.

"We've got some designs for the island," added Ffion. "We know work needs to be done there. As soon as there are designs that we think are acceptable, we will share them with you and it will go to public consultation."

Changes could include making the roundabout smaller, or making it single lane. Ffion said whatever changes are made, it is likely to result in more traffic, and the impacts of the North West Relief Road ought to be considered, should that project go ahead.

"We've also got funding allocated for a crossing for Sweetlake Meadow. That should be done this summer," she said.

"We had a really good meeting about Bank Farm Road last week. One suggestion was to move the bus stop further away from the Co-op. That was a really good idea and definitely one will take forward."

Several parents raised concerns, with one saying her "heart is in her mouth" every morning and evening when her son travels to and from school on his bike.

Jeremy Tudor, head of maths at The Priory School, said: "We had another accident this time last week where a child was knocked off their bike. Thankfully they were okay. That wasn't a speed issue, it was down to the volume of traffic. That half an hour between Priory and Meole starting and finishing is so busy. Anything that can help clear the roads would make a massive difference."

Angela and Councillor Chris Lemon were involved in a Shropshire Council meeting last week to campaign for 20mph limits in residential zones. A pilot scheme in Bridgnorth was only narrowly voted down. The committee voted was five in favour and five against, with the chair's casting vote against scuppering the plans on this occasion.

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