Parents’ plea to make Dagenham school crossing safer

Parents and children concerned about the crossing

Parents and children concerned about the crossing - Credit: Archant

Parents have called for better traffic-calming measures at a busy zebra crossing.

Joyce Cook, 57, has been threatened by a driver

Joyce Cook, 57, has been threatened by a driver - Credit: Archant

The crossing in Gale Street, Dagenham, is an unavoidable part of the school run for pupils of nearby James Cambell Primary School, but parents say this doesn’t stop drivers speeding over it while children are trying to cross.

Danny Smith, 36, says daily disregard for traffic laws recently resulted in his daughter Chloe almost getting hit.

“The woman stopped and apologised but it’s just not good enough,” he said.

“Drivers come off the A13 doing 50 to 70 miles per hour and don’t even stop at the crossing.”

Mum-of-two Sarah Davis

Mum-of-two Sarah Davis - Credit: Archant

He wants the council to replace the zebra crossing with a pelican crossing and introduce speed cameras, suggesting it’s only a matter of time before drivers cause a serious accident.

Chloe, seven, said she was “shocked” by her near-miss.

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“They should stop driving,” she said. “It’s pretty silly that when someone goes to cross the road they don’t stop.”

Parent Enriketa Mezini shares their concerns and insists on walking her two sons to school because of the ongoing problem.

“They don’t respect the stripes,” the 41-year-old said.

“I worry for my children’s safety and walk with them all the way from Goresbrook Road.”

Meanwhile mum-of-two Sarah Davis, of Rothwell Gardens, Dagenham, says it’s often up to parents to intervene.

“It’s always been the same round here and we haven’t always had a lollipop lady so I used to stand in the middle of the crossing to ensure parents and kids got across,” the 38-year-old said.

A council spokesman said he was sorry to hear that Chloe Smith had almost been hit.

He said there were no plans to change provisions at the school but noted that more than £230,000 has been spent on road safety and traffic calming measures across the borough.

“Last academic year our accident prevention officer visited James Cambell to educate children on road safety issues and how to stay safe,” he added. “We will review the situation when we look at possibly expanding school safety schemes in the future.”