Rethink on funding school crossings in Exmouth

PUBLISHED: 12:30 22 April 2016

Withycombe Primary School. Ref exe 16-16TI 9412. Picture: Terry Ife

Withycombe Primary School. Ref exe 16-16TI 9412. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

An Exmouth councillor will try to secure funding for a new pedestrian crossing outside a primary school, which he hopes could lead to crossings being provided across the town.

Councillor Brian Bailey announced and received support for his plan at this week’s Exmouth Town Council meeting, after it was told that Devon County Council would not be installing a pelican crossing outside Withycombe Raleigh Primary School.

Cllr Bailey – a ward councillor for Withycombe – said he hoped to secure alternative funding for a crossing, and received support from other members after arguing it would act as a pilot scheme that, if successful, could help address problems outside other schools in the town.

Cllr Bailey, also a district councillor, said: “These are young children, our future, I am talking about. I want to go back to Devon County Council as well as go to East Devon District Council, and get this funding either through the new neighbourhood plan process or the existing Community Infrastructure Levy.

“This is children’s safety, and it’s very, very important.”

County Councillor Eileen Wragg had informed the town council of the decision not to provide a crossing, which she explained had come after a council officer visited the site.

She said: “The [county highway] committee took on board the concerns of people as Withycombe Village Road is a very narrow road, and it’s become very, very busy and congested.

“There are concerns, but the officer and committee decided not to support a crossing.”

Councillor Wragg added that the county council had approached contractor Norse to provide a school crossing patrol at Withycombe, although Cllr Bailey said Norse had known nothing about this when he contacted them.

Supporting Cllr Bailey, Councillor Jeff Trail said: “We have a problem with crossings across all five [town council] wards.

“If this is a proposed pilot scheme I’d like to second that.

“If we can prevent accidents across all the schools in the town, that’s something I feel we can support.”

Councillor Steve Gazzard said: “At Withycombe, it’s an accident waiting to happen. There are ways we can try and move this forward. I am more than happy to support what Cllr Bailey said.”

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