Terrington St Clement school chiefs to look at paying towards crossing campaign

School Crossing problems for Terringron St Clement Community School, 'Headteacher Liz Hackett (right) at the crossing between the schools, with petition, pupils and parents. ANL-150520-184801009
School Crossing problems for Terringron St Clement Community School, 'Headteacher Liz Hackett (right) at the crossing between the schools, with petition, pupils and parents. ANL-150520-184801009
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Village school leaders are considering whether to spend some of their own budget on helping to provide a new crossing on the road outside the sites.

Parents and teachers began a campaign for a crossing in Churchgate Way, Terrington St Clement, close to the village’s community and high schools, in May.

But, although its launch coincided with an incident in which a bus collided with a parked car on the road, county roads officials have said they cannot provide the facility.

They say they cannot provide the necessary funding and a low accident record would not justify the additional safety measure.

But community school officials have indicated they would make a contribution towards the cost themselves, if the money can be found.

The exact cost is not yet clear, although campaigners in nearby West Lynn are aiming to raise £50,000 for a crossing near the entrance to the Poppyfields housing estate.

Headteacher Liz Hackett said the extent of any contribution the school could make is unlikely to be determined until early in the new year, when its budgets for the forthcoming academic year are finalised.

But she added: “If we could afford to spend £5,000, we have got to look at how much that is per pupil for their safety, so it would be money well spent.”

She said she would also be asking officials at the St Clements High School to make a financial contribution.

Nigel Williams, the high school’s head of school, said the issue had not yet been discussed.

He added: “Pressure on school budgets is very, very tight, but it’s certainly something we would consider.”

Another potential funding source may be the Norfolk County Council parish partnership programme, where communities can bid for up to half the cost of road safety projects.

Parish council chairman Sheryl Thompson has called for a meeting with the school to discuss whether an application could be made for funding during the 2016-17 financial year.

She added: “It is very important for the schools. It’s one of the main routes in and out of the village and it’s extremely busy at school pick-up and drop off times.

“We wholeheartedly support the campaign. It will make the whole area easier and safer for the children and adults who use the doctors’ surgery.”

Since its launch in late May, around 400 people have signed a petition calling for a crossing to be installed on Churchgate Way.

And the campaign has already won the backing of North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham, who, following the launch, said the time had come for a crossing to be built.

Meanwhile, efforts are continuing to recruit a new crossing patrol worker for the site, though no-one has yet come forward.

Although Churchgate Way has had a school crossing patrol in the past, there has not been one for several months and efforts to replace the previous lollipop worker have so far failed.