Saffron Walden parents promised safer crossing on “hazardous” roads

PARENTS have been promised a safer crossing for hundreds of children who are “taking their life in their hands” every time they cross a perilous Saffron Walden road.

Concerns have been raised about the dangerous junction at Debden Road with Mount Pleasant Road and Borough Lane, outside Friends’ School.

The Reporter visited the area this week, with parents describing the roads around the school as “hideous”, “dreadful” and a “death trap”.

However, as part of the approved housing development of the school – which includes the building of a new junior alongside 76 homes – a legal agreement was reached which will see the developer, Hill Partnerships Ltd, fund a signal-controlled junction, including pedestrian crossing, for Debden Road and Mount Pleasant Road.

The scheme, which would cost in the region of �250,000, would need to be in place before any of the houses are occupied.

The news has been met with a mixed reception.

Katie Mackenzie, of Beeches Close, contacted the Reporter about the situation and stressed that more urgent action needs to be taken.

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She has to cross Newport Road and Debden Road at peak times to get her daughter, four-year-old Lily Kenton, to the Friends’ nursery school – and with six-month-old son, Sid Kenton, in a pushchair.

“It is a nod in the right direction but I can’t see that we are out of the woods,” she said.

“When will this happen? And what are we supposed to do until then?

“We could be talking about another year, or even more.

“I tremble at the thought of crossing these roads every day. Hundreds of children are taking their lives in their hands every day and the situation has got be addressed as soon as possible.

“Perhaps we could get a temporary arrangement in place, such as a lollipop lady.”

Head of Friends’ Junior School and Nursery Andrew Holmes said: “It goes without saying that we are, of course, deeply concerned with the safety of our children as they travel to school and the Debden Road is clearly a very busy place at certain times during the day.

“We have been concerned for some time about the safety of our children accessing the school [from Debden Road] and are delighted that the new traffic lights planned for the Mount Pleasant Road junction will provide safe pedestrian crossing for all pupils walking to school.

“We will also be providing, from September, more onsite parking for our parents making access safer for our children.

“Debden Road remains a difficult road to cross for all pedestrians and we hope the planned changes are implemented soon.”

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