Search

Havering’s parents and headteachers demand safety review after child run over

PUBLISHED: 12:00 07 November 2014

Parents and pupils at Hilldene Primary School standing by the busy road where a four-year-old boy was hit by a car

Parents and pupils at Hilldene Primary School standing by the busy road where a four-year-old boy was hit by a car

Archant

Parents, headteachers and councillors have increased calls for a review of road safety to protect children after a four-year-old boy was hit by a car outside his school.

"It’s only by the grace of God there’s not been anything worse"

Clare D’Netto, headteacher of St Ursula’s Catholic Junior School

An air ambulance landed on the field of Hilldene Primary after the reception pupil was knocked down crossing at a traffic island near the school in Straight Road, Harold Hill, on Tuesday.

Police believe his injuries are not as serious as first suspected, but parents want action to prevent a tragedy.

Mum-of-one Tasha Mercer, 25, started a petition calling for a zebra crossing to replace the island hours after the accident and had about 300 signatures by the following afternoon.

Miss Mercer, of Heaton Avenue, Harold Hill, said that the 30mph road is “chaos” and a danger to children.

The spot where the child was knocked down The spot where the child was knocked down

Heaton ward councillor Keith Darvill (Labour) said the road was particularly dangerous in the mornings, with high-speed traffic coming from Gallows Corner.

“I will be calling for an urgent review of traffic and parking on the road,” he said.

Clare D’Netto, headteacher of St Ursula’s Catholic Junior School, in Straight Road, called for increased lollipop patrols and for 30mph speed limits to be lowered near schools.

Her pupils are campaigning for a crash barrier to be extended after two cars careered into the school wall.

Kerry Ferguson collected signatures for a get well soon card for the boy Kerry Ferguson collected signatures for a get well soon card for the boy

Mrs D’Netto, who has supervised crossings in the absence of lollipop patrols, said: “It’s only by the grace of God there’s not been anything worse.”

Malcolm Drakes, headteacher at Broadford Primary School, in Faringdon Avenue, Harold Hill, said CCTV cars were needed to ensure that parking rules were followed.

But new measures had been introduced in April to combat inconsiderate behaviour by drivers outside schools in response to headteachers’ complaints, council leader Cllr Roger Ramsey said.

“We highlighted the most important areas and make sure we visit every three weeks as a minimum,” he said.

Sam Blewett at the school

“Slow down,” shouts one dad outside the school gates of Hilldene Primary School as a car travels past at 30mph.

Parents pushing prams struggle past rows of parked cars around entrances to the school so that they can pick up and drop off their

children.

Each parent I spoke to told me about numerous hazards such as the speed limit and the lack of safe places to cross, particularly if coming from the south to the reception and Year-1 entrance.

It is easy to say that parents could walk further up the road and turn back on themselves in order to cross at the traffic lights, but I can understand that under the strain of busy days and the need to get children home for dinner, it is all too tempting to cross at the more risky, but convenient, traffic island.

One mum pointed out that lollipop wardens don’t just keep children safe but teach them how to cross sensibly, while others said that drivers also need to be taught a lesson and better parking and speeding enforcement would do the trick.

“We’re doing absolutely everything we can with the resources we have.

“Our enforcement officers cover an extremely large area, but residents should be assured that tackling parking and driving issues at schools is one of our main priorities.”

Hilldene was identified as a priority, he continued, and was visited seven times in one month to issue penalties and advice.

He added: “Drivers have a responsibility to drive and park according to the conditions and restrictions of the environment.

“Residents also have to be alert and aware of their surroundings, and cross roads where it is safe to do so.”

A mother of a child at the school, who did not wish to be named, witnessed the “shocking” accident and called for an ambulance.

She said: “To watch a child knocked down and see them roll in the road was horrible. Everyone was screaming and in shock.

“He was so lucky not to have broken a bone.”

Jane Davenport, Headteacher of Hilldene Primary School, said she wished the boy a “speedy recovery”.

No arrests have been made and police enquiries continue.

The Recorder initially reported that the child was a three-year-old girl on the advice of London Ambulance Service. The service has apologised for the mistake.

Latest Romford News Stories

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.

A look back at the biggest local stories from this day 20, 40 and 60 years ago.

The London Borough of Havering have for decades paid more for our services than inner London areas who have received much larger grants from central government, compared to outer London areas.

Yesterday, 15:00

The creation of the National Health Service in 1948 was not universally welcomed, as Prof Ged Martin discovered

Yesterday, 10:00

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our three-minute Met Office video forecast.

Fri, 17:30

A musical variety group that spent more than 50 years performing in hospitals and care homes, still meets up to reminisce about the days of musical festivities and fundraising.

Fri, 17:28

Police in Hertfordshire are appealing to members of the public in Havering for help in tracking down a wanted man they believe is in the Romford area.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Window and conservatory specialist Ken Rhodes talks about the possibilities for brightening up your home for the new year, and with their home improvement finance deals it’s possible for everyone to make some changes

Lisa and Jennie are cousins who grew up in the borough. Their grandmother, ‘Nanny Fish’ was a huge part of their lives, and while she had dementia and increasing needs, she really benefited from having care in her nephew’s loving home. This experience was the inspiration for Lisa and Jennie to set-up their own home care service.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now