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Campaign for pedestrian crossing outside school in Little Downham

By Ely News  |  Posted: November 19, 2013

Parents and children campaign for a pedestrian crossing outside Downham Feoffees Primary school in Little Downham.

Parents and children campaign for a pedestrian crossing outside Downham Feoffees Primary school in Little Downham.

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A childminder is campaigning for a pedestrian crossing to be installed outside her village primary school.

Mum-of-two Emma Turrell says children’s lives are being put at risk when crossing the road to get to and from Downham Feoffees Primary School in Little Downham.

Emma, 33, of nearby Matthew Wren Close, says there have been numerous near collisions outside the school, in Main Street, and that “enough is enough”.

She said: “It’s extremely dangerous. We haven’t got any sort of crossing and we haven’t got a lollipop lady or man.

“There is a lot of fast moving traffic in Main Street, cars park either side of the street and buses obviously have to drop off outside the school too.

“Parents have to cross the road with their children completely unaided and the visibility is terrible.

“Enough is enough. There have been numerous near misses where parents have had to quickly pull their children out of the road to stop them being hit by a vehicle.

“We need a proper pedestrian crossing which forces motorists to slow down and stop in order to let us cross.

“If we don’t get one soon I really fear there’s going to be a serious accident.”

Emma has been gathering support for the crossing since the summer and now has an army of worried parents behind her.

Local councillor Anna Bailey, Busy Fingers Pre-school, the primary school itself and Little Downham Parish Council are also all in support of the crossing.

Emma said: “Cambridgeshire County Council have told me we can’t get a crossing because not enough children cross the road and that the road is not busy enough. That’s complete nonsense and I’m determined to get one.

“Even if the council can only afford to partly fund the crossing, I would be willing to fundraise to pay the rest.”

The campaign is similar to one which parents in the Downham Road area of Ely ran.

After two years of protesting, the county council finally agreed to part-fund a new crossing near to Ely College.

Parents had to raise £4,357 to meet the funding shortfall after the council paid £10,000 towards it.

Emma is now meeting her local MP Steve Barclay to discuss the issue on Friday.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire County Council said: “Requests for crossings of this type are judged against the accident records of other sites in the county and we were are working with the local community to see if a crossing can be installed using our highways improvement scheme.”

Applicants can seek up to £10,000 as a contribution to their scheme with an expectation that they will provide 10 per cent or more of the overall cost.

The deadline for applications is Monday, December 9.

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