Safety concerns at school

CONCERNS (l-r): Residents Bill Hogg, Edna Wright, Pat Powell, Mel Salmons and Ray Powell are concerned about road safety near to Barnard Grove school.
CONCERNS (l-r): Residents Bill Hogg, Edna Wright, Pat Powell, Mel Salmons and Ray Powell are concerned about road safety near to Barnard Grove school.

CONCERNED residents fear childrens’ safety will be at risk after seeing plans for a proposed new school.

Barnard Grove Primary School, in King Oswy Drive, Hartlepool, has been put forward for a rebuild under the Government’s multi-million pound Priority School Building Programme.

The plan is to build the new school alongside the existing building, and then flatten the original facility when work is complete.

Councillors will discuss the plans at a meeting on August 6, and have been recommended to rubber stamp the proposals by planning officers.

But a group of residents living near the school have expressed concerns over road safety, and say in their opinion the new plans which have been drawn up do little to alleviate traffic problems in their neighbourhood.

Bill Hogg, who lives directly opposite the proposed new car park, said: “We have lodged our objections to the council as we feel the problems we face with traffic on a daily basis will only get worse when the new school opens.

“There is a car park for 24 vehicles but when parents are doing the school run then there is nowhere for them to park.

“That is the case now, and it will be the same when the new school opens.

“Surely it would have made more sense to put in some sort of fliter road for parents to drive into rather than expecting them to find a space on King Oswy Drive?”

Mr Hogg’s neighbours Pat and Ray Powell echoed those sentiments, as did Mel Salmons, whose home also overlooks the school, and former councillor Edna Wright who lives in Weymouth Drive.

Mrs Powell added: “We are not opposed to the new school at all, the children deserve the new build and that’s not what our concerns are about.

“King Oswy Drive is busy enough as it is, it’s a main road, a bus route and at school run times it is packed.

“The area on the plans where they have put the entrance is in the wrong place.

“They have put yellow lines in the neighbouring streets, so parents have nowhere else to leave their cars other than outside the school gates.

“We all fear that safety is the issue here, and someone will get knocked over as it really is that busy.”

Mrs Wright has lodged her complaint with the council’s planning team, and will join her neighbours at the meeting at the Civic Centre to voice her concerns.

She said; “This is all about building schools for the future, but it has been badly planned.

“Now is their chance to alleviate problems caused by parking, not make them worse.

“We’re not asking for the whole plan to be scrapped, we’re just calling for a bit of common sense.

“There is enough land at the back of the school to set the new building back, and that would make room at the King Oswy Drive side of the building to create an area where children could be picked up and dropped off without fear of getting ran over.”

Barnard Grove was one of three schools picked for a rebuild or refurbishment as part of a £19m education investment.

Manor College of Technology and Holy Trinity C of E Primary School were the other two.

A council spokesman said: “Safety was a key consideration in the plans for the proposed new Barnard Grove Primary School, including in the provision of an extended traffic calmed area at the front of the school.

“Comments submitted by members of the public as part of the formal planning consultation process will be taken into account at the meeting on August 6.”