Cranbrook Rd crossing campaign faces delays
A CAMPAIGN for an extra crossing on Cranbrook Road is facing delays following lockdown.
As previously reported in the Bishopston Voice, parents started campaigning for a crossing near the junction of Harcourt Hill and Cairns Road in 2016 after a primary school pupil was hit by a car and there were also several reports of near misses on the road. They collected 387 signatures through an online petition from residents in Redland and Westbury Park, after becoming concerned that the long stretch of Cranbrook Road, which many children cross on their way to school, lacks a suitable safe crossing point mid-way.
The group of parents, known as the Cranbrook Community Crossing Group, also asked local councillors Martin Fodor and Fi Hance to get involved in their campaign.
Clare Freshwater-Turner is one of the parents who helped initiate the campaign. She promoted it at the Neighbourhood Partnership Community Fair in September 2016, and also presented it at a council meeting in November 2016.
In 2019, Bristol City Council’s councillor for transport, Kye Dudd came to look at the site. At an area committee meeting Martin Fodor and Fi Hance managed to secure funding in principle of up to £31k towards a crossing. In October 2019 a highways office from Bristol City Council visited the road and met with the campaign group to give a rough idea of which solutions may work, however since then progress has stalled due to lockdown.
Commenting on the delays, Clare said: “Schools have gone back and yet we are no closer to making the crossing at Cranbrook Road safer. Yes we have been promised funds but with Covid it seems that progress has stalled.
“However, in the meantime the route to school for some children will have changed this term due to Covid. Redland Green School has (for valid Covid safety reasons) closed the Kersteman Road side entrance to KS3 and KS4 pupils and this means we are seeing an increase in pupils crossing at our junction. The school has been very supportive about our plans, and have said that they are also going to send some emails to the Council on our behalf.
“I have written to Marvin again, and I just feel like it is an accident waiting to happen. The whole community feels a bit let down, and people say that even as an adult the road is hard to cross, let alone as a child.
“I have been asked if I will attend the Full Council meeting in November to discuss things further, and it feels like quite a lot of effort just to keep our children safe. How many years do we need to wait though? How long is it going to take to sort this out?
“I am very concerned about this and find it hard to understand that the council are not taking this safety issue more seriously.”
Councillors Martin Fodor and Fi Hance also added: “We are disappointed at the lack of progress with the Cranbrook Road crossing at Cairns Rd. After the success of allocating local funds to support residents pressing for a safe crossing used by school children there were high hopes a crossing project would be developed where there are speeding vehicles and a daily dash across the wide road. We were then shocked to hear that over half the team members working on such highway schemes were vacant. And the emergency Covid travel projects around the city that were funded at very short notice pushed local projects further back in the queue. We’ve been pressing for news and action since then.
“There’s no date yet for recruitment to the team but we’ve been pressing for funded safety projects like the crossing to be picked up. The start of the new school year means the school is also worried about more children at risk while walking to school. We’re working with residents to find out when there will be designs, how these will get consulted, and when something will actually be built.”
The Cranbrook Community Crossing Group would like to hear about the experience of people who cross the road to go to and from schools, play groups and church.
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