Children spearhead crossing plea as doubts continue over future funding

November 24 2016

Parents and children fighting for a safe crossing from one side of Cranbrook Road to another, near the junction with Cairns Road and Harcourt Hill, presented their petition to Bristol City Council on November 8.

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Parents and children fighting for a safe crossing from one side of Cranbrook Road to another, near the junction with Cairns Road and Harcourt Hill, presented their petition to Bristol City Council on November 8. 

Their one-minute slot at the full council meeting began with words from a nine-year-old schoolgirl who said: “I was hit by a car on my way to school." 

The group, led by parent Clare Freshwater-Turner, went on to explain their case. "This incident brought into focus the severe concerns that local residents have about the safety of this section of road. 

"The upper section of Cranbrook Road is a long, wide, straight downhill section, with no crossing point, and traffic travels faster than the 20 mile speed limit. Schools, playgroups, and other community facilities are scattered either side of this road, making it an essential crossing point for all members of the community, but notably, unaccompanied young people. 

“We are currently listed as one of the three potential projects to be funded next year, but understand this funding may be cut. We ask that money continues to be made available to deliver this much needed project, to create a safe crossing before another pedestrian is hit, and potentially badly injured."

Redland councillor Martin Fodor attended the meeting too and delivered a supportive speech about the campaign to the Mayor before the full meeting. 

Councillor Fodor said: “They’ve done everything imaginable to develop their case and publicise why it should be considered a priority in the neighbourhood. They’ve been in local papers and magazines, spoken at our Neighbourhood Forum, created the petition, got training in Community Speed Watch, had the mobile radar van out to monitor speed violations, and with our Neighbourhood Partnership’s budget and agreement got a traffic monitoring box out for two weeks to gather evidence of speed and volume of traffic.”

Councillor Fodor raised his concern that the Corporate Plan proposes no more devolved Highways budget for Neighbourhoods, adding: “We’ve been told there will be no team with local projects, no budget, and no facility known for anyone to prioritise and develop local projects or get officer time to work on something which could save lives.

“I’d like to know what the thinking is behind the proposed removal of what are almost always resident led and locally developed road safety projects and how we can progress this safety scheme?

The campaign has since heard from the council that it is conducting a study of the road to come up with possible solutions. 

Clare Freshwater-Turner said: “Our main concern is still that the safety of children, pedestrians, cyclists and drivers is in the council’s hands and that they may decide to take this funding opportunity away from us. We will not give up and will continue to fight for this important matter.”