August 22 2014 Latest news:
by Jane Ball, News editor
Friday, May 9, 2014
A mother has released this harrowing picture of her daughter – taken moments after she was struck by a car outside a school – in a bid to convince Havering Council to increase road safety in the area.
Grace Roberts, 10, nearly lost an eye, suffered a serious arm injury, and spent a week in hospital after the collision with the vehicle on a zebra crossing outside Brookside Junior School, in Dagnam Park Drive, Harold Hill.
Mum Kristy Smith, 38, of Daventry Road, Harold Hill, said: “I wouldn’t wish what happened to Grace on my worst enemy – it was one of most awful times in our family’s lives.” Consultant superhead of the school, Adrian McNeillis, has joined forces with parents to petition the council to introduce a lollipop person on the busy bus route and reduce the speed limit outside the school from 30mph to 20mph.
They are also calling for a pelican or puffin crossing, flashing warning signs, and speed bumps.
Parents and staff of a Harold Hill school met councillors this week to urge them to take urgent traffic-calming action.
The meeting, held at the school on Tuesday, resulted in increased police patrols outside the school during the rush hours and Adrian now hopes things can “move forward”.
The council has now pledged to look into “what more can be done”.
Kristy said: “I’ve seen cars doing 50mph outside the school and people seem to have no respect for the fact there’s lots of children about.
“The council needs to do something before this happens again and another mum has to go through what I have.”
Mr McNeillis, who claims he flagged up the traffic issues with the council on his appointment in January, said: “There are signs warning drivers of deer and they have recently put up signs warning bus drivers of low-hanging trees yet, ironically, there’s nothing about child safety.”
Last month pupils designed road safety leaflets to share with parents and carers, and a 1,000-strong petition, backing traffic calming measures, was presented to council.
Mr McNeillis, a primaries troubleshooter, was drafted in to improve the school’s inadequate Ofsted rating and facilitate its transfer to academy status in conjunction with Drapers’ Academy some time this year.
A spokesman for the council said: “We are really sorry to hear that a young girl was injured outside Brookside school.
“We are currently looking at what more can be done to make this stretch of road safer.”
Sign the petition here.