A Kinloss mum has pledged to fight for improved safety measures outside her son’s school after he was involved in a collision with a car on the busy road that runs past it.
Twenty-nine ‘lollipop’ patrols were dispensed with in council budget cuts of 2019/20, including one outside Kinloss Primary School. Moray Council advised parents that they were responsible for their children’s safe travel for the whole journey to and from school.
Following the incident with her son, Rebecca Black, has started a petition to make crossing the road a safer place for everyone.
She has already amassed more than 600 signatures supporting her call for something to be done to improve safety outside the 250-pupil school.
Local MP Douglas Ross has also written to the council asking what alternatives could be put in place, such as a pedestrian crossing.
Rebecca said: “I am aware the safety of children along this road has been brought up on numerous occasions by other concerned parties, however, even though there has been many close calls, nothing has done about this issue.
“Due to the sheer volume of children and parents leaving the school grounds onto the small footpath next to the main road with no safe place to cross, this can cause a great deal of congestion on the footpath and many children have had close calls along this stretch. I do understand that the motorists are not always at fault, and it is important to ensure all children are educated thoroughly on road safety.
“This road has a 30mph speed limit and a 20mph limit during busy school times. This falls on deaf ears and drivers very seldom acknowledge this limit. For example, earlier this year a motorist was caught at 51mph along this stretch of road.”
Rebecca’s son John, who is in year P5 at Kinloss, was taken to hospital in an ambulance on Monday and was treated for a sprain at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.
“Luckily one of the other mums, Jody, managed to grab him just in time to avoid serious injuries and the car struck his leg and foot. The wing mirror on the car ended up broken so we presume it hit his upper body somewhere. However there have been no injuries from that luckily.”
Rebecca said she understood the financial issues Moray Council faced that forced the cutbacks.
“I feel that they cut back a crucial part of children’s safety along main roads such as this one, and I and the other parents at the school are willing to fight to help them be reinstated. If this is not possible other safety measures need to be considered such as railings along the path or a pedestrian crossing outside the school.”
Local MP Douglas Ross has previously written to Moray Council on this issue and was recently advised that speed checks and other investigations were to be carried out once the schools returned from the pandemic restrictions allowing schools to re-open.
He said: “I am obviously concerned about the lack of School Crossing Patrollers across Moray, but the situation at Kinloss Primary School really worries me. There has now been a child struck by a car as they were leaving school and although their injuries were not serious, it’s still a very concerning accident.
“Local parents are understandably concerned as the B9089 Kinloss-Roseisle road is particularly busy with all sorts of traffic.
“I have contacted Moray Council again to ask for an update on the speed checks they were to carry out at this location and to ask what plans they have to install other safety measures including the consideration of a pedestrian crossing. I’ve also asked them where parents would stand legally if they provided Volunteer Crossing Patrollers, equipped with suitable reflective clothing.
“It is important that we try and find a solution to this very real issue and in doing so I am happy to work with Moray Council, local Councillors, parents and the school to deliver a safe crossing for pupils.”
Safety of children paramount
Local Councillor Claire Feaver said “I have been really concerned about the lack of School Crossing patrollers across Moray especially on roads with a large amount of through traffic, as the safety of our children should be paramount. I had hoped we could use the Safer Streets initiative to address the problem and also put in place pedestrian crossings and zebra crossings where appropriate. I am more than happy to work with Douglas, parents, community councils and other partner groups to come up with a satisfactory solution and outcome to this issue.”
A Moray Council spokesperson said: “Our thoughts are with the family involved in this incident and we wish the child all the best for a speedy recovery. We appreciate the distressing nature of the incident and are supporting staff and children from Kinloss Primary School who may have witnessed events unfolding.
“Transportation colleagues have been conducting assessments in Kinloss recently, the findings from this will be reviewed and shared upon completion.
“All the details surrounding this incident will be reviewed and we will continue to work alongside Police Scotland to identify opportunities to encourage safe crossing and vehicle use around school areas.”
The petition can be signed here: https://www.change.org/p/moray-council-improve-safety-measures-for-children-crossing-the-road-at-school?utm_content=cl_sharecopy_28830216_en-GB%3A4&recruiter=1202682138&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=tap_basic_share