Sheffield Council 'failed to heed warnings' over Holt House school drive where child collided with Amazon van

An angry parent has accused Sheffield Council of failing to heed warnings over a ‘dangerous’ school driveway where a child was injured last month.

Thursday, 21st April 2022, 3:48 pm

Duncan Strafford says he warned both the school and the council of the deteriorating paths on the driveway leading to both Holt House Infants and Rushey Meadow special school as early as July 6 2021 – but nothing was done until a potentially serious incident happened last month when a boy fell under an Amazon delivery fan.

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Mr Straffford said: “It would appear that Sheffield City Council are more concerned with painting red lines down Abbeydale Road than they are about the safety of pupils. The overarching question is why does it take a near fatal accident to happen before the council, or indeed the school will do anything about it?”

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Duncan Strafford on the driveway to Holte House School. Picture Scott Merrylees

He said it was he who called police after a year two pupil was hurt by a van on March 8, after school.

He said: “This incident was predictable and avoidable. It occurred due to the deterioration of a footpath to and from Holt House Infant School. Both the School and the council knew of the state of the footpath prior to the incident.”

He said he had written to complain about the state of the path, near Bannerdale Road, Millhouses, last summer, describing it as an accident waiting to happen.

Duncan Strafford on the driveway to Holte House School. Picture Scott Merrylees

He said the boy had suffered grazing to his torso, but the injury could have been much worse. He said the van was coming round the corner slowly when the boy tripped on a pothole and fell under the rear wheel of the van.

Simon Christie, Associate Governor at Holt House, said: “The school has raised a number of concerns with the Council, both historically and once again following the recent accident, with regards to the safety of the school driveway and the shared access points from Bannerdale Road.

“Thankfully, council representatives from all political parties have been very positive in looking to address these issues. Throughout this, the school's thoughts have remained with the child who was injured and his family and friends.

“Without question, the safety of our children is the school's very top priority and we are encouraged that the Council seems to both share this view and recognise the gravity of the situation.

“The school was pleased to see that an initial range of remedial measures were put in place, including improved signage and road markings at the school entrance. The school is meeting again with the council this Friday (April 22) where council representatives will be presenting a range of design options to improve the safety still further. We are hopeful that the commitment they have provided to significantly upgrade both the access road and the school driveway will be upheld.”

Sheffield Council has commissioned works including the removal of a redundant white sign at the approach to the access road; an additional 10 mph floor sign prior to the entrance of Rushey Meadow, a zebra crossing across the entrance to Rushey Meadow, and visits by both Parking Services and Community Safety Officers. The area is also now a priority patrol area to carry out enforcement.

Also, Sheffield Council is currently developing a range of options to improve the access road for pupils and parents.