Calls for one-way traffic solution outside Lancing school

Sarah Wheels and her children, Shannon, 18, Sonny, 7, and Maison, 9
Sarah Wheels and her children, Shannon, 18, Sonny, 7, and Maison, 9

A mother-of-three, whose son was nearly hit by a car outside his school recently, is calling for a one-way traffic system to be put in place to help improve safety.

Sarah Wheels said parking and driving down narrow Irene Avenue was a ‘nightmare’ for parents of pupils attending the Globe Primary Academy.

She was spurred to call for action after her seven-year-old was almost hit by a car which mounted the pavement in the road.

Sarah and other parents want the school to impose a one-way traffic system in Irene Avenue from north to south at key times to help with congestion.

She said it would make a ‘massive difference’ and said: “Most parents will do this for the safety of their children.”

Sarah said the one-way system was in place when her two older children, now aged 16 and 18, attended the school, before it became an academy.

“It worked very well. It did help,” she said.

She said there was a lack of other safety measures in place around the school, pointing out that Crabtree Lane had been without a school crossing patrol for more than a year.

“It’s only a matter of time before someone get hurt or worse,” she said.

Michele Innes, chairman of governors at the school, said the school was unable to do instigate a one-way system because it would require 100 per cent compliance to work.

She said the system previously in place had been ‘fraught with problems’ - with some parents refusing to comply and some residents in dispute with the system.

She said: "The school does everything possible to ensure the safety of its pupils, staff and wider family within the parameters we are allowed.

"Once the pupils leave the school premises with their parent/career, it is the responsibility of the parent/career to consider their safety.

"Unfortunately we do still experience parents blocking residents driveways, driving up onto the kerbs and pavements and obstructing the road.

"We will continue to ask parents to look at their options for parking near the school, as this keeps everyone a safe as possible.

"We would ask that parents and carers drive carefully and park considerately in the school area and would also appeal to the local council to please look again at the issues for all the primary schools and consider more provisions to help with the situation."

A West Sussex County Council spokesman said it was not aware of a request for traffic calming at the school but said it had installed flashing beacons to support a school crossing patrol – however Ms Innes said the lights had not been connected to electricity and did not work.

The spokesman said the school access in Irene Avenue and West Way were both in the 2019/2020 programme for new, enforceable ‘school keep clear’ markings.

The council will be recruiting for a permanent school crossing patrol from the start of the summer term, the spokesman said.

While the spokesman said the school was free to instigate a voluntary one-way system, it said that this would be 'an informal agreement' and would need 'careful consideration'.

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