A county councillor hopes £6,000 of funding can help make a busy road near two schools safer for youngsters.
Rushden’s Michael Tye is using most of his allowance from a councillors’ community fund to pay half the cost of speed-activated road signs near Whitefriars infants and junior schools in the town.
The county council, which withdrew funding for school crossing patrols, will pay the remaining £6,000 for two signs in the Whitefriars and Grangeway area.
Cllr Tye said: “The county council decided it would withdraw the school crossing patrols, primarily due to financial reasons.
“Sadly this was one of the casualties. The school tried to raise money one way or another to pay for the school crossing patrol but that wasn’t sustainable. We had to look at other ways of helping young people and parents cross this busy road. Traffic does speed down there, unfortunately.”
However, there were issues with installing a crossing due to the nature of people’s driveways along the road, and Cllr Tye added: “In the end I persuaded our highways people to consider these speed-activated signs.They are very expensive – the total cost is approaching £12,000, so I have agreed to pay for one of the signs [from the fund].
“I consider it so important that we do something along that road, hopefully to prevent accidents and help children and adults cross the road.
“I believe and hope it’s a good way to spend money. We have problems around all the schools in Rushden with parking, and at some with speeding traffic. It’s not just Rushden, it’s across the county.”
The move has been welcomed by the junior school’s headteacher. Helen Woodhouse said: “There have been near-misses, there have been accidents along the Grangeway involving children. It’s a serious concern and this is a step in the right direction.”
She added: “It would also make things safer if people parked in a more considerate manner.”
The fund gives each of the 57 county councillors a grant of £7,000 a year to spend in their electoral division.