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Eynsham zebra crossing to ‘cut accident risk’ on school journey
Buy this photo » Mark Harrison, site development officer at Bartholomew School, says it’s terrifying to watch as students attempt to negotiate Witney Road. Picture: OX65170 Marc West
PUPILS at a secondary school in Eynsham could soon have a zebra crossing to make their journey to school safer.
Staff at Bartholomew School in Witney Road say they have been raising concerns about children’s safety for 10 years and plans for a crossing are now taking shape.
Charles Mathew, county councillor for Eynsham, said plans for a zebra crossing outside the school were being drawn up.
As part of the scheme, according to Mr Mathew, the nearby bus stop would have to be moved along the road and more railings would be installed along the pavement.
Mr Mathew said: “This is far from set in stone but my colleagues at Oxfordshire County Council are drawing up plans.
“Once those are complete, there will be a period of consultation where the parish council, police and coach company can give their opinions.”
Mr Mathew estimates that the project will cost £25,000.
He said most of the money – as much as £15,000 – would come from contributions to the county council from developers and the school has also agreed to spend £5,000 on the project.
He added: “I hope that it will be completed by the summer in time for the new school year.”
Mark Harrison, site development officer at the academy, said: “We have a number of students who arrive by bus in the morning from Botley and Oxford.
“The buses pull up on the west side of Witney Road and the students have got to cross to get to school.
“It’s terrifying to watch. It’s like wildebeest entering the water, and the cars are crocodiles.”
Mr Harrison added: “The school has decided to use some of the money that’s there to benefit the kids and their education towards it. It’s our duty of care.
“Some would rather spend that on other things but the head has decided it is important.”
Eynsham Parish Council has also provisionally agreed to spend £3,000 on the development.
But Gordon Beach, chairman of the traffic advisory committee at the parish council, said: “It’s going to be a long time before we make a final decision and know whether we will actually commit to giving it funding.”
Mr Harrison, 56, said he was convinced the crossing was necessary.
He added: “It will only take one person who is using Eynsham as a short cut, or is in a hurry, to go too fast and try to overtake the bus and we will be seeing kids spiralling up in the air.
“Local people all know the issue and we have lots of parents and drivers mentioning it.
“It’s an accident waiting to happen.”
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