Serious crash prompts calls for safety measures around Sheffield primary school

Pupils at Woodseats Primary and Nursery School stage a protest outside the school gates (photo: Chris Etchells)
Pupils at Woodseats Primary and Nursery School stage a protest outside the school gates (photo: Chris Etchells)
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A serious crash in which an 11-year-old boy was 'thrown in the air' has prompted calls for safety measures around a Sheffield primary school.

The youngster was seriously injured in the collision after getting off a bus on his way to Woodseats Primary and Nursery School, in Woodseats.

The school says a young boy who was hit last year on his way in has made a good recovery (photo: Chris Etchells)

The school says a young boy who was hit last year on his way in has made a good recovery (photo: Chris Etchells)

The school says he has made a good recovery since the crash in July, which happened on Woodseats Road, near the junction with Chesterfield Road, but the school and local councillors say action is needed to prevent more children being injured.

Sinead Fox, headteacher at the primary school, said in the same week the boy was hit there had also been a near miss after a car went through a red light, and a third incident in which a car door had been clipped by another vehicle as a child got out.

"Road safety is a massive issue given where we are, and it came to a head when one of our pupils was knocked over," she said.

"The volume of traffic and speeding cars are a real problem, and there are frequently near misses.

"Changes are needed to ensure our children have a safer route in to school."

The most pressing requirements, according to Ms Fox, are for:

* a 20mph limit on The Dale, a narrow road at the back of the school

* the bus stop on Woodseats Road to be moved further from the junction with Chesterfield Road

* a pedestrian crossing at the junction of Chesterfield Road and Scarsdale Road

More than 100 people have signed a petition calling for the hazards to be addressed.

Liberal Democrat councillor Steve Ayris and his party colleagues on the Grave Park ward, who started the petition, have also launched a survey asking residents to suggest what should be done.

Coun Ayris said: "The junction is confusing for everyone, let alone little children, and everyone agrees something must be done.

"The boy was thrown in the air when he was hit in July and it's lucky he didn't die."

He added that Woodseats is home to the city's third largest district shopping centre, behind only Meadowhall and Hillsborough, and the volume of traffic means safety measures are sorely needed.

Councillor Jack Scott, Sheffield Council's cabinet member for transport, said he and Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh had visited the school days after the collision in July to discuss what could be done to improve safety.

He added that the council was committed to introducing a 20mph limit on The Dale and was investigating the cost of the other measures, which would involve more work.

"I'm working closely with Louise, the school and parents to do everything we possibly can to make the area around the school safer," he said.

"The massive cuts we've had have really restricted our ability to react in the way we would like to and at the pace we would want.

"When we've lost half our budget we have to look at every scheme really carefully and make sure we're getting the best value for money possible."