Parents and teachers unite in campaign for A371 school crossing in Draycott
Pressure continues to grow for a crossing near Draycott and Rodney Stoke First School.
Pupils and teachers took to the street last week to highlight why something is needed on the A371 in Draycott.
Parents and teachers want a crossing as most children live on the opposite side of the school and the school is one of those rare ones with a 30mph zone outside it.
Head teacher Cathy Lowe has again written to Somerset County Council expressing her disappointment that a six-month long bat survey – which can’t start until April – is holding up progress.
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She said: “I understand the issue around the flight path of bats but feel that this has not been an issue for other developments in the vicinity, where the changes requested were for financial gain.
“Our concern is for the safety of our children and I feel this should take precedence over financial concerns.
“I also think that it has taken a very long time to establish this as a problem. Had this been identified sooner then perhaps the necessary survey could have been conducted last year.”
Her words were echoed at Rodney Stoke Parish Council on Thursday night. Council chairman Roger Reeson revealed he had taken the issue to Wells MP Tessa Munt as he was “peeved” other crossings had been put into Cheddar and Wedmore.
Councillor Reeson said: “She thinks safety should take precedence. Somerset County Council says they will do a bat survey maybe in April but won’t know the result until October.
“But because we have elections in May we may not have the councillors on side after that. County councillor Harvey Siggs has tried his best to ring fence the money.”
It is understood that the need for a crossing is now on the county council’s list of potential highway improvements and will be considered regardless of any election result.
The county council has previously said it must adhere to Department of Transport guidance and that greater horseshoe bats may be in the area. A survey can only be done during the bats’ active months.
The council also said residents had raised concerns about the need for lighting to go with the crossing.
Councillors at Thursday’s meeting heard of suspicions that someone may have allegedly tried to scupper the crossing plan by raising the concern about bats.
The school has said no crossing makes getting to the playing field and encouraging healthy lifestyles through walking difficult.