Barking parents fear road plans will put children at risk

Worried families have attacked plans to turn a residential path outside their homes into a two-way street near a busy road.

House builder Taylor Wimpey is to open the passage on May 16 to improve access on their new estate, Academy Central in Barking, which will contain more than 1,000 homes by 2016.

But residents warned children could be injured by passing traffic as the street, which leads to the busy Longbridge Road, has no pavements.

Mum Victoria Falzon, 37, said: “It’s going to be treacherous. There’s no pavements for kids to walk on.

“They are going to get knocked over. It would be horrendous.”

The families collected around 40 signatures against plans to open the passage, called Scholar’s Way.

But Taylor Wimpey said street designs at Academy Central had been approved by highways authorities and said the revamped Scholar’s Way would have a 20mph limit with traffic calming measures.

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Mum-of-four Victoria Humphrey, 40, said: “I think it is wrong.

“There’s too many kids and not even a pavement on one side or the other.”

Her partner Jason Pickering, 47, said: “It’s an afterthought. There was no mention of two-way traffic. It’s not even a road. If you look at it, it’s cobblestones.

“How can you explain to a two-year-old kid, ‘stay on the side of the path?’ Where is the path? It’s all the same. It’s all red bricks.”

Scholar’s Way leads to a T-junction which becomes a tarmacked street with pavements called Academy Way.

Academy Way in turn leads onto Lodge Avenue, which provides an entry point to the estate.

A Taylor Wimpey spokesman said: “Scholar’s Way is planned to open on Wednesday, May 16.

“The layout and design of the streets at Academy Central were agreed with the local highways authority as part of the original planning approval for the development.

“Scholar’s Way will be a two-way street with a 20mph speed limit that will support the existing infrastructure and give local residents direct access to Longbridge Road and Lodge Avenue.

“The design of Scholar’s Way is guided by the Department for Transport’s manual for streets and incorporates traffic calming measures.”