Worried parents call for crossing

VILLAGERS in Backwell are appealing for a crossing on the busy A370, which is used by hundreds of children.

VILLAGERS in Backwell are appealing for a crossing on the busy A370, which is used by hundreds of children.

Councillors and concerned parents have been campaigning to get a crossing installed on West Town Road, near the recreation ground and tennis courts.

Youngsters have to cross the busy road on a daily basis to get to and from school and to the sports facilities on the other side of the road and campaigners feel it is an accident waiting to happen.

Charles Hatcher, of Church Town, who has two children aged nine and six, said: "There's been a need for a crossing there for some time because so many people live on the south side of Backwell and have children who want to get to the recreation ground for all sorts of activities and to the tennis and bowling clubs.

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"It's just unsafe trying to get children across because the traffic has grown so much. There have been a number of accidents and near misses.

"Backwell is about the only village A370 which hasn't got a crossing.

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"If there isn't a safe place for my children to cross when they get older, they won't be allowed to make their way to the tennis courts on their own."

Youngsters attending Backwell School, Backwell Junior School, Fairfield School and West Leigh Infant School all use the busy road but with an increasing amount of commuter and airport traffic campaigners believe the road is no longer safe.

North Somerset councillor for Backwell, Karen Barclay, is leading the campaign for a puffin crossing.

She said: "There is an urgent need for a safe crossing in the West Town area of Backwell.

"Traffic on the A370 continues to increase and it is becoming more and more difficult and dangerous for adults and children to cross from the Church Lane side to use the recreation ground and get to and from school.

"I have received numerous letters from residents explaining the difficulties they face, and am concerned, due to the volume of traffic, children have to take risks and dart across this busy road between moving vehicles.

"Money has already been allocated in the budget to provide a crossing in this location and, with the support of the parish council, I will be working closely with officers at North Somerset to ensure that a crossing is installed as a matter of urgency."

North Somerset Council has set aside £35,000 for the crossing and Backwell Parish Council has also allocated £5,000 towards the project.

Cllr Barclay is now consulting with residents and officers about a suitable location for the scheme.

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