Parents in Thrapston school crossing dispute

A file picture from 2010 when the Highfield Road, Thrapston, lollipop lady was removed

A file picture from 2010 when the Highfield Road, Thrapston, lollipop lady was removed

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A proposed new zebra crossing in Thrapston is in the wrong place, according to a group of parents who are opposing the move.

Northamptonshire County Council’s highways department wants to put the new crossing near the junction of Highfield Road and Huntingdon Road, near where a former school crossing patrol used to be based.

But a number of residents say it should be positioned further along Highfield Road, where children will only have to cross one road on their way to Thrapston Primary School.

Peter Dawson said: “The highways department did a survey to see where parents crossed their children when coming to school from Highfield, Lazy Acre and Winding Way. They found that on the way to school half crossed where this crossing would be placed and half crossed just up from there, on the other side of Highfield Road.

“In the afternoon, however, only 20 per cent crossed where the crossing will be and 80 per cent crossed higher up.

“We cannot understand why highways did not go with the majority and place the crossing where it will be used by the majority.”

Mr Dawson said parents had met an officer from the highways department who told them Thrapston Town Council agreed the crossing should be placed elsewhere.

He added: “The residents who have been told, and not all of them have, have objected, but the highways department are disregarding their views too.

“We are not averse to having a crossing site on Huntingdon Road but it needs to be in the best and safest place.

“We want a safe crossing point, further up Huntingdon Road than the Highfield junction.

“This will have no impact on parking as all those houses have driveways, plus this is exactly where the majority of parents and children cross.”

A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said: “The original call for the zebra crossing was from the town council, following requests from residents.

“Observations were made on a number of days in both the afternoon and the morning, and discussed with our engineers.

“Overall, we felt the location should be based on where people have difficulty and some risk crossing due to the turning traffic.

“The town council did ask us to consider a crossing further up Huntingdon Road, after receiving representations from residents.

“The grounds for suggesting the alternative location related to a big residential development that will happen at some point in the future, but not immediately. The development would be on the same side of Huntingdon Road as the school, so would not need a zebra crossing.

“There are no detailed proposals as yet for the new development, so any traffic measures required in relation to it would be discussed as part of development negotiations.”

Views on the crossing should be sent to SBarnwell@kierwsp.co.uk at Northamptonshire highways department.