10-year-old Saffron Walden schoolboy delivers petition to council and calls for safety measures on “danger” road

Max hands his petition over to town clerk Simon Lloyd and Cllr Alastair Walters, chairman of the Uttlesford Highways Panel. Max hands his petition over to town clerk Simon Lloyd and Cllr Alastair Walters, chairman of the Uttlesford Highways Panel.

Friday, December 27, 2013
11:59 AM

Young Max Norris is all smiles as he hands over a petition of more than 200 signatures, gathered in support of his calls for action on a “dangerous” Saffron Walden road.

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The 10-year-old wants a safer crossing along the top of the Common, where DeBohun Court meets Ashdon Road. It is a road he regularly crosses on his way to school.

He spent several weeks knocking on doors and standing on the Common collecting the signatures, while copies of the petition were placed in his school at RA Butler Academy and at the County High where he will attend next year.

This week the Year 6 pupil submitted the petition to Saffron Walden town clerk Simon Lloyd and Cllr Alastair Walters, chairman of the Uttlesford Highways Panel.

Max said it was a “matter of life and death” to get a crossing in place on the “very dangerous road”. His mum, Andrea, added: “So many people have been telling us that they’ve been waiting to see us to sign the petition. We’ve been overwhelmed by the level of support.”

Mr Lloyd said he was “proud” of Max for putting together the petition. “I receive this with enormous pleasure,” he told the youngster. “It makes a very strong statement.”

However, there is still some way to go. The petition needs to go through Saffron Walden Town Council, who will then make an application to the Uttlesford Highway’s Panel.

The panel’s 12-strong team will discuss the matter, before deciding whether to fund a PV2 feasibility study – an analysis and survey of vehicle and pedestrians movements – to justify the cost of a scheme, and whether implementing it would be possible.

If suitable, the panel will then have to recommend a scheme to County Hall, where the portfolio for Highways will sign off any work to be done.

It is a lengthy practice which could take several months. It may not even get that far. Cllr Walters made it clear that a petition “doesn’t guarantee anything”.

“These things must go through the proper channels and it will be considered like any other application,” said Cllr Walters.

“But I am happy to accept the petition. Max has done extremely well and it is great that he has shown such initiative and is doing something about it.

“There is a possibility we could discuss this at the next panel meeting in February.”

Cllr Walters also invited Max to address the panel at the meeting.

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