Posted: Fri 2nd Aug 2019

Community leaders voice ‘serious concerns’ over safety of children walking to new Flintshire school

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Aug 2nd, 2019

Community leaders have voiced ‘serious concerns’ over the safety of children attending a new multi-million-pound primary school in Penyffordd. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Ysgol Penyffordd will open on Abbott’s Lane in the village in September following an investment of almost £7m, providing a modern facility for around 315 pupils. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

However, members of Penyffordd Community Council have voiced doubts about the safety of the routes youngsters will take to get there. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

It comes despite Flintshire Council announcing it will carry out work to install a new crossing point later this month, as well as keeping a crossing patrol in place. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

In a letter to the local authority, community councillors said they did not believe the measures would be sufficient to accommodate the growth in pupil numbers. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Clerk Sarah Hughes also said members believed any safety initiatives should have been put in place much earlier. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

She said: “Further to the concerns our council have consistently expressed over the importance of having appropriate measures in place for a safe route to the new school, at a recent meeting, serious concerns were raised yet again about the failure to have any suitable provision in place for when the new school opens in September. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“This is a matter that has been raised on numerous occasions and included a request to have measures in place from last September to get parents and children into good habits for when the new school opens. This request went unheeded. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“The situation was discussed again at the council’s May meeting, and Mr Steve Jones from Streetscene responded with a short message saying a crossing would be in place on Corwen Road and the situation would be monitored. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“In member’s opinion, this is completely unsatisfactory where Abbotts Lane School population will be going from 120 pupils to over 300, with many of the children coming from Penymynydd area, and that measures should have been in place well in advance.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Previously, the infant and primary schools were located on two different sites, but will now merge into one. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

It follows work being carried out on the new build as part of the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools and Education Programme. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The English medium school will cater for youngsters aged three to eleven. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Education officials stressed that a new crossing would be in place before the school opens. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

As a result of the old infant school being based at the same site, Flintshire Council’s chief education officer said there were already other adequate routes for pupils. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Claire Homard said: “The new school is sited on an existing school site, therefore there are existing appropriate routes to the new facility. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“However, a new crossing will be installed as agreed in late August prior to the school opening in September. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“In addition, the council’s road safety team has reviewed school crossing patrol, this will be retained and relocated to the most appropriate location. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“As school parking provision forms part of phase two and currently under construction, alternative arrangements have been made for staff parking for September until this area is complete, this is as per agreed construction programme. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Lastly, the school has sent letters to parents before they broke up and will do so again prior to the start of the new academic year.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here). ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

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