Parents at Winchester’s newest school are asking council leaders to work with them on a new safe crossing for Andover Road.
They say lives are put at risk every day as they cross the busy road to get to Barton Farm Primary Academy which opened last month.
They’ve enlisted the help of local MP Steve Brine who joined a group of mum’s – and Headteacher Nicola Wells - for the school run (Friday 16th October) to see for himself the problem and discuss possible solutions for near the Halls Farm footpath.
Catherine Defty, who is leading the push, contacted the MP for help and says; “We are in the extremely lucky position to be able to walk our children all the way to this beautiful new school. However, all the benefits of this are placed at risk everyday due to having to cross the busy Andover Road.
“A fatal combination of the 50mph speed limit, no accessible crossing and poor visibility is an accident waiting to happen. An accident that even an adult would have less than a 5% chance of surviving.”
Steve Brine MP added; “The Barton Farm development rightly has a new school at its heart but it serves a wider catchment and that means parents have to cross from Weeke and Harestock every day at a spot few ever did before. This part of Winchester is now heavily residential, on both sides of the road, and that is only going to increase as new houses come online.
“It is fairly obvious we need something new at this part of Andover Road because without a crossing, and very possibly a lower speed limit, we could be one moment away from a very nasty accident.”
Nicola Wells, Headteacher at the school, commented; “We have a strong focus on sustainability at Barton Farm. We are actually seeking 'Eco Schools' accreditation so I am thrilled that so many of our families choose to walk, scoot or cycle to school to protect the environment and to support a healthy lifestyle. It is vitally important that our young families have a safe route to school each day and a crossing on the Andover Road would really help”.
The MP recognised existing efforts undertaken by nearby Headbourne Worthy Parish Council, local councillors and nearby residents who themselves plan to petition Hampshire County Council next month. He added it was a “cross-party, multi-pronged approach” to persuade councillors of the need to act and said anyone in support of the campaign should get in touch.
Barton Farm Primary Academy is part of The University of Winchester Academy Trust. It welcomed its first cohort of reception age children in September.
Pictured (from top); Christine Galvin, Catherine Defty, Natalie Brown, Priya Limbu and Head Nicola Wells with Steve Brine MP.