“Worry” over schools traffic as parents say families "risk death" at hotspot

“Worry” over schools traffic as parents say families "risk death" at hotspot

By Michael Upton | 09/12/2021

“Worry” over schools traffic as parents say families 'risk death' at hotspot

 

TRAFFIC concerns are putting the “worry” in Worrgoose, with concerned parents calling for new pedestrian crossings at one of Rotherham’s busiest traffic spots.

One campaigner said the prospect of 450 new homes in Whiston meant improving road safety around Worrygoose roundabout was an urgent matter.

Mum Bridgette Smith said: “Every day, children, including my own, risk life or death navigating Rotherham’s busiest roads.

“For an area of such dense population, one pedestrian crossing on Worrygoose Island is not enough.

“It is my view and that of the wider community that pedestrian safety comes first — and all pupils have the right to get to and from school without fear every day.”

Bridgette said that twice daily, parents and kids had to navigate the roads around the roundabout, where there is only a crossing on the western approach from East Bawtry Road.

“At the bottom of Herringthorpe Valley Road and Broom Lane, we have to guess which cars are coming off the roundabout at speeds of 40mph before we can cross,” she added.

“Many people don’t indicate and there is no permanent speed camera on this stretch, where we regularly witness cars speeding in excess of 60mph and drivers who use it as a racing strip.”

Crossing Worrygoose Lane was also a concern, said Bridgette, citing “cars bumper to bumper” and children and parents having to wait in the middle of the road “hoping cars will let us safely cross”.

She said the current situation was “shameful, an embarrassment to the local council”, adding: “The school is always promoting healthy lifestyles and walking as part of that but it’s hard when it’s such a treacherous route to school on foot.

“There used to be a lollipop lady but I wouldn’t want to do that job without a zebra crossing.”

Bridgette said she was aware of the plans for another crossing on East Bawtry Road under the Lathe Road scheme but felt improved safety was “a big issue that should be dealt with now”.

She wants to see crossing on all approached, as at Stag roundabout.

“I have been told that there has been a petition before and they said they wouldn’t put a crossing in unless someone got injured — but I think one injury is one too many,” Bridgette added.

Borough councillor Tony Griffin visited Whiston Worrygoose Junior and Infant School recently to see road safety posters designed by pupils and speak to parents, whom he told he would lobby the council.

RMBC’s assistant director for planning, regeneration and transport, Simon Moss, appeared to scotch any hopes of immediate improvements.

He said: “We will continue to liaise with prospective housing developers in the Whiston area to secure funding and investment associated with improving safety for all road users.

“Where road safety improvements are identified outside the scope of potential developments, or where timescales do not fit with the needs of road users, then these will be investigated and actioned in accordance with current priorities.

“Speed cameras are deployed in line with current government policy.

“Where sites do not meet the relevant criteria, we can install vehicle- activated signs, some of which are temporary units, and officers will look at suitable locations in the area.

“We will continue to explore the various road safety options and consider implementing traffic calming measures in the future.”



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