No signs to warn drivers of children crossing

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Latest news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

A pub landlord has spoken about his and villagers’ concern over the safety of children having to cross a 60mph road to catch a bus to school.

Secondary school-aged children from Brent Eleigh have to cross the road from the village across to the side of The Cock Inn pub on the A1141.

The parish council asked Suffolk County Council to put up ‘Children Crossing’ signs, but the council has said as there is no evidence of serious accidents or fatalities on the stretch of road no signs will be put up.

“I think it’s pretty deplorable actually,” said James Davis, landlord of The Cock Inn.

“Quite a few people are concerned. It’s a 60mph on the road and most mornings children have to cross over and there’s no sign. Highways say there is adequate signage but these are obscured by the trees.”

Unlike most in the village, when Mr Davis’s own children move up to the secondary school, they will have to cross the road in the evenings.

For much of the year it will be dark and there is no street lighting to make the children visible to passing cars.

He admitted this was a concern and said he believed the parish council would continue to try to pursue it but added: “Once highways say no it’s a no. I hope the situation changes.”

In January, Suffolk county councillor for the ward Jenny Antill made a request to the county council for the signs, saying children crossing the road to the village in the dark was clearly dangerous.

She said if there was any money left in her highways budget she would be happy to contribute to the signs.

In his reply on May 27, Andrew Titcombe, area engineer for the county council, said: “With just one slight injury accident in the last five years, in this vicinity on the A1141, this Brent Eleigh location would not be considered to be a site with a history of crashes.

“The accident data, and the extent and nature of the pedestrian traffic, directs that the A1141 Brent Eleigh site does not meet the criteria required for the use of any signs.

“The current signage philosophy is to have minimal signage and to declutter the highway of unnecessary signage. Additional signage would appear to go against this philosophy.”

Kevin Went, Brent Eleigh Parish Council chairman, saidthere are two ‘Children Crossing’ signs in Hall Road where buses used to pick up children, and he has asked why these cannot be repositioned.

He said: “If it’s deemed necessary for signs on a 30mph road, why is it not necessary on a 60mph road where it’s a lot more dangerous?”