School road is ‘danger zone’

Alan Whittaker and Tricia Coulthard the Head Teacher help the children across the road at SS Peter and Paul's Catholic Primary School, Mawdesley

Alan Whittaker and Tricia Coulthard the Head Teacher help the children across the road at SS Peter and Paul's Catholic Primary School, Mawdesley

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A school road in Mawdesley is being labelled as ‘dangerous’ by a headteacher and council clerk.

Tricia Coulthard, headteacher at St Peter and Paul Catholic Primary School, and Alan Whittaker, clerk to Heskin Parish Council, are joining together to raise awareness of problems on Ridley Lane.

According to Mr Whittaker, the 20mph limits that have been enforced in Mawdesley village stop approximately 50 metres short of the primary school.

Along with Mrs Coulthard, he cannot understand why the limit has not been applied outside the school, where vulnerable children and parents have to cross the road on a daily basis.

Mrs Coulthard, who has been headteacher at the school since 2006, said: “It is dangerous. If we want to do PE or take the children to church, we have to cross this road with up to 70 children.

“There is a 20mph limit at the bottom of Dark Lane, right through the residential road in the village.

“Just before its junction with Ridley Lane, it changes to 30mph, and after you pass the school on the way to Wrightington it becomes national speed limit.

“If farm vehicles come past the school, it can make the windows shake. I want to see something done.”

Mrs Coulthard and Mr Whittaker are hoping that some action, such as installation of a puffin crossing, will be taken to rectify the ongoing problems.

Alan Whittaker, clerk to Heskin Parish Council, said: “The situation here in Mawdesley is crackers.

“Everyone wants cars to slow down. The priority should be of course near schools.

“Here for some reason only known to Lancashire Council(llors) they stop the 20mph zone yards away from a rural school where most children have to travel by vehicle and where children have to cross the road to get to the school field.

“The Governors of the School and the Parish Council are unanimous in asking for a rethink.”

Paul Binks, road and transport safety manager at Lancashire County Council, said: “We’re planning to install a part-time 20mph limit outside Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Primary School early next year.

“We’re bringing in part-time 20-mph limits which will operate only at the start and end of the school day for around 160 schools in Lancashire which are outside the residential areas where permanent 20mph limits are being introduced.

“The signs indicating the start of the 20mph limit which covers the main residential areas of Mawdesley are placed at a point where it is clear to drivers that there is a change of environment from rural to residential.

“This is approximately 250 to 300 metres from the school which is in a more rural environment.”