DON Valley MP Caroline Flint has stepped up her campaign to reduce speed limits outside schools in Doncaster.
Ms Flint is calling for limits to be lowered outside the borough’s schools in a bid to safeguard youngsters on their way to and from the classroom. And this week she visited Conisbrough’s Castle Academy where pupils have become the latest to throw their weight behind the campaign.
Simon Martin, headteacher of Castle Academy, said: “I conducted a survey of parents, and the results were that 92 per cent welcomed Caroline’s proposals to reduce the speed limit near schools.
“For several years we have expressed concerns, especially about the main Mexborough to Doncaster Road, without success.”
Ms Flint said: “More than 30 schools have already contacted me in support of the campaign to reduce speed limits near schools.
“Castle Academy is a great example of a school adjacent to Doncaster Road where cars are on a stretch which changes from 30mph to 40mph, within a short distance of the school. I believe road safety should come first.”
Ms Flint has contacted scores of schools across her constituency, encouraging them to back the campaign and has produced posters for youngsters to display to help get the message across – but she says the idea also needs to be picked up on by motorists travelling past the schools.
She said: “Of course we need to educate drivers and pupils about road safety and, of course, the crossing patrols are valued, but if we are going to change the road safety culture then we can start by making drivers think, ‘School Ahead, 20’s plenty.’”
She admitted that her visit to Castle Academy had been an eye opener and pressed home the issue of introducing speed limits to help protect children.
“It was great to talk to Mr Martin, the deputy head Jeni Mead, and some of the Year 6 pupils.
“Castle Academy is on a road where the speed limit moves from 30 to 40mph and huge HGVs hurtle along each morning.
“The pavement is very narrow and I don’t envy anyone crossing the road, or the difficult job of the crossing attendant.”
Ms Flint has also criticised Mayor of Doncaster Peter Davies for his lack of response to her campaign.
She said: “The Mayor knows that 20mph limits are not expensive.
“It does not have to cost tens of thousands of pounds to erect signs, and Doncaster Council currently spends thousands each year telling the public not to drop litter.
“Money like that could be used to educate drivers about 20mph limits near schools.”
Castle Academy has entrances on Station Road which is 30mph, and Low Road which is 30mph moving to 40mph at the edge of the school site, near The Station Hotel.
The school has its playing field on the opposite side of busy Low Road, meaning pupils have to cross to take part in sports activities.