Give our kids a brake

PUBLISHED: 02:58 14 December 2006 | UPDATED: 10:20 24 May 2010

CHILDREN travelling to village schools are at increasing risk of being hit by cars, according to parents and teachers who have launched a campaign to cut road speeds. Parents of pupils at Hugh Sexey School in Blackford have started a '20 is Plenty' campai

CHILDREN travelling to village schools are at increasing risk of being hit by cars, according to parents and teachers who have launched a campaign to cut road speeds.Parents of pupils at Hugh Sexey School in Blackford have started a '20 is Plenty' campaign to cut the speed limit outside the school. Concerns have been raised over the current 30mph speed limit. Parent Teacher Association (PTA) chairman and Liberal Democrat prospective MP Tessa Munt said: "We shouldn't have to wait until someone is killed before anything is done."In a questionnaire filled out by pupils, they said they would like to either walk or travel by bike to school, but very few of them do. The PTA believes this is because parents think it is too dangerous. Tessa said: "The road which runs between Wedmore and Blackford is 60mph, but just before you get to the school it becomes a 30mph zone. Anyone who doesn't know the area isn't given enough time to slow down."The PTA would like to see the 30mph sign pushed back and a 20mph sign put up outside the school."Children at Wedmore First School also filled in a survey, and many said they would like to cycle to school but the roads between and around the villages are unsafe for them to cycle on. Tessa said: "They should be allowed. It's crazy we aren't giving them the provision to either cycle or walk. Most of the children who go to the two schools live in Wedmore and Blackford. It's absurd to put them in a car for such a short length of time."Wedmore Green Group is also backing the campaign, as they are keen to make school journeys more environmentally friendly. A spokesman for the group said: "The Government is pushing for greener ways to do the school run, but the amount of cars currently on rural roads make them too dangerous."Anyone who would like to sign the 20 is Plenty petition can contact Tessa on 07714 599669 or leave a message for her with the school. n Through questionnaires given out at Hugh Sexey Middle School it was discovered that, out of 606 children who filled in the survey, 579 own a bike but only 42 use them to get to and from school. It was found that 185 out of 640 children at the school live within a mile and a half of the school, an area which includes, Wedmore, Sand, Blackford and other surrounding hamlets. There are 240 children who attend Wedmore First School - 94 live in the village and 34 travel from Blackford.The survey revealed that just three children travel by bike to school.Over 60 youngsters said they would prefer to use their bike to get to school.

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