Broomhill Infant School: Sheffield primary takes action after children say they 'don't feel safe' on roads

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A child was hit by a car in 2022 and pupils staged a protest in October last year.

A Sheffield primary says it is stamping out a 'rat run' outside its school in a bid to make drop-off and pick-up times safer.

It has been three months since the young pupils at Broomhill Infant School staged their own protest outside their gates on Beech Hill Road saying they "didn't feel safe" around cars.

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Broomhill Infant School says it wants to stamp out a 'rat run' outside its gates to make it safer for children.Broomhill Infant School says it wants to stamp out a 'rat run' outside its gates to make it safer for children.
Broomhill Infant School says it wants to stamp out a 'rat run' outside its gates to make it safer for children. | National World

The narrow two-way street is used as a shortcut around busy Whitham Road and is choked every morning and afternoon with cars despite double yellow lines. A pupil was knocked down and broke a leg in 2022, and parents told The Star they see "near misses" regularly.

Headteacher Jane Barnes said: "We're here to make a difference and make it safer for children to come into school.

"We have had parents passing each other and mounting the pavement at drop-off and pick-up times when there were children and pushchairs around, and that wasn't acceptable."

Now, the school has today (January 24) unveiled what Ms Barnes says will be the first in a string of efforts to curb bad parking and driving putting children at risk.

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Broomhill Infant School, in Beech Road, Sheffield, says it is taking action to stop bad parking and driving outside its gates after children said they 'didn't feel safe.'Broomhill Infant School, in Beech Road, Sheffield, says it is taking action to stop bad parking and driving outside its gates after children said they 'didn't feel safe.'
Broomhill Infant School, in Beech Road, Sheffield, says it is taking action to stop bad parking and driving outside its gates after children said they 'didn't feel safe.' | National World

Mannequins reminding parents and drivers to "think before you park" will be put out each morning and afternoon - in a scheme that could soon spread to other schools.

Parents told The Star the difference even on day one was visible. One dad, Brant Walkley, called Beech Hill Road "chaotic" and a "rat run" but felt it was already calmer with the mannequins in place.

"There have been a lot of close calls," said Brant. "I've seen friends and their children on bikes have to avoid cars, only for the drivers to get angry.

"It's already worked exceedingly well today. I hope they go further and close the road at drop-off and pick-up times."

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Mum Catherine Richardson said: "I would like it to be a 20mph zone. Cars do not need to go faster than 20mph going past schools and nurseries. How can anyone say that is safe?"

Funding for the mannequins was secured in part by Broomhill and Sharrow Vale ward councillors Brian Holmshaw, Angela Argenzio and Maleiki Haybe, and supplied by the Central Local Area Committee.

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