Sunderland schoolchildren’s fight against speeding drivers

Pupils in Year 4 from Richard Avenue Primary school with their petition for the road's around their school to be made into 20 mph speed zone.
Pupils in Year 4 from Richard Avenue Primary school with their petition for the road's around their school to be made into 20 mph speed zone.
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SCHOOLCHILDREN will continue their fight against speeding drivers despite their pleas being snubbed.

Youngsters and staff at Richard Avenue Primary School had taken to the streets in protest against irresponsible motorists who refuse to curb their speed.

They also collected 376 signatures for a petition to reduce the speed limit to 20mph near the school.

They said speeding drivers cause chaos outside their building and fear that unless road safety outside the school is improved, it is only a matter of time before a child is injured or killed.

However, their pleas have fallen on deaf ears, as Sunderland City Council officers have decided against any action.

A report to Wednesday’s full council meeting stated: “The executive director of city services has declined the petition and decided not to introduce, at this time, traffic-calming measures to mitigate against the perceived speeding problem around Richard Avenue area.

“Traffic-calming measures in residential areas are prioritised in respect of the severity of accidents, exposure to vulnerable road users, likelihood of compliance, proximity to schools, cost implementation, integration with existing traffic-calming and public acceptability.”

It said the council has prioritised a list of 15 traffic-calming proposals as pilot projects.

Pat Lamb, a personal, social and health leader at Richard Avenue Primary School, said: “It is disappointing, to say the least, that they haven’t acknowledged we are trying to improve safety for the children.”

She said the school has focused closely on raising road safety issues with the children, to make them more aware of the dangers.

She added: “Our school council will still want to push forward with this to get the speed limit reduced.”

Barnes councillor Michael Essl, who backed the petition and protest of the children, said: “It is disappointing that we have lost the first round in our fight to get a 20mph zone around Richard Avenue Primary School.

“My fellow ward councillor Rebecca Atkinson and I are working to get the policy reviewed and hopefully a more favourable outcome for the people of Eden Vale. The fight goes on.”

Twitter:@sunechoschools