Gainsborough

Parents campaign for speed reduction on ‘dangerous school road’

Parents and the headteacher at a school in Gainsborough are campaigning for speed reduction on what they believe is a ‘lethal road’.

The Avenue has a 40mph speed limit, dropping to 30mph within feet of the entrance to Castle Wood Academy in Gainsborough.

Concerned parents told Lincolnshire Reporter they want a 20mph school safety zone during the hours of 8am-9.30am and 2.30pm-4.30pm, as well as a crossing with a lollipop assistant. They also want clearer signage near the school.

Parents want clearer signage near the school rather than the current ‘Primary School’ signpost. Photo: Christopher Bradley

Alex and Christopher Bradley, Kelly Geeson and Kayleigh Keys are among the parents involved in the campaign, who have also set up a Facebook group called ‘Castle wood traffic zone group’.

An online petition was signed by 186 concerned residents and parents, in addition to over 100 on a paper petition, and both will be given to the county council in the near future.

Concerned parents think the road is dangerous. Photo: Christopher Bradley

The county council have said they plan to meet with the school to discuss potential measures to improve safety.

A highways spokesperson said: “We’re aware of the concerns and are planning to meet with the school to discuss potential measures that could be introduced to improve safety.”

Concerned parents are campaign for a 20mph school safety zone.

School fully supports campaign

Gary Brown, headteacher at Castle Wood Academy, told Lincolnshire Reporter they want Lincolnshire County Council, West Lindsey District Council and Gainsborough Town Council to take the following action:

  • Implement a 20mph School Safety Zone from the end of The Avenue/Belt junction, until the entrance to the Leisure Centre Car Park
  • To paint double yellow lines/zig-zags on both sides of the road all the way from the entrance to the Leisure Centre to the Belt/The Avenue junction
  • Provide a Lollipop Crossing Warden as of September 2019
  • Provide a Zebra or Pelican crossing to enable our families to cross The Avenue safely
  • To increase the number of car parking spaces in the Leisure Centre by creating more car parking spaces in the grassed area between the existing car park and the school entrance

The school currently has a formal agreement with the nearby leisure centre, who have been very accommodating in allowing parents to use the car park at pick-up and drop-off times, but it is not a long-term solution.

Parents are currently being asked to park here at the local leisure centre at pick-up and drop-off times. Photo: Christopher Bradley

He said: “Many of our parents work and it is normal for them to drop their children off on the way to work. We currently have 170 children on roll, rising to over 200 next year, and in three years time we have over 380 children attending our school.

“The exacerbating factor is the speed limits on the road. The Belt Road nearby is a 60mph limit. Drivers turn into the Avenue off the Belt and drive at the limit (40mph) which only reduces to 30mph a matter of a few yards from the school gates.

“We will not put up with being fobbed off by the Local Authority’s standard responses. We are likely to have some children who will walk themselves to school next year and need measures to be put in place before a child is injured or dies, not afterwards.”

Outside Castle Wood Academy. Photo: Christopher Bradley

Parent concerns

Concerned parent Kelly Geeson told Lincolnshire Reporter: “It is a busy road. My child has been attending the school since it opened in 2015, so I’ve had years of seeing the problems. There is no advisory or clear signage and something needs to be done before a child gets run over.”

Fellow parent Alex Bradley added: “We shouldn’t have to have a child hit by a car before it’s an issue. It’s our children’s safety and we feel strongly about it. It’s such a busy road when the school is running and a lot of parents want action, we are passionate about it.”