Wells Road Crossing Update
Many families will remember the successful campaign in 2017 to keep the crossing manned.
First of all I want to thank you for the fantastic response to my email last week. It’s once again a great reminder of what a brilliant community this is!
Secondly, those of you who did email Don Alexander last week will have had this response this morning:
Hi Anna, I'm sure you understand that council budgets are now very stressed by years of austerity. I hope you will take a look at this consultation and make suggestions to improve the safety of the Wells Road:
I have sent him a response but I have also submitted a question (see below) to the Mayor for the next Full Council Meeting. The deadline for submissions is 5pm today, the meeting itself is next Tuesday 7th Dec at 3pm. Not the most convenient of times but if anyone would like to join me at the meeting, where I can ask the question in person, please do email me so we can arrange.
It is becoming increasingly clear that we are going to have start making a bit more noise and I would love to gather a small team to help put the pressure on and hold BCC to their word. If you felt that you could help me with this, please do get in touch.
Yr 5 parent
Question for Bristol Mayor, Marvin Rees
In 2017 the School Crossing Patrol on Wells Road by the junction with Cemetery Road was earmarked for termination by BCC. The reasons given at the time were budget constraints caused by austerity and the fact that an engineered crossing already exists on the site.
As you will remember, the parents and children of Hillcrest Primary School in Totterdown, which was served by the SCP, successfully demonstrated the irrefutable need to uphold the SCP on this site given the extremely dangerous nature of this stretch of road and that the cost of maintaining it was a) a very small fraction of the council’s budget and b) incomparable to the cost of a child’s life.
At the time the council concluded that we were right and agreed not only to keep the SCP but to recruit a replacement for Paul Whitmell, who was manning the post at the time, once he retired.
The recruitment started just as the pandemic was beginning and the first lockdown began, in the month before Paul’s retirement. Obviously, the pandemic has blown many things out of the water but the SCP on the Wells Rd has remained conspicuously absent ever since.
In August I wrote to Don Alexander, Cabinet Member for Transport, to enquire about the position and what was happening. In November Don finally informed me that BCC were not intending to replace the SCP because it was not their policy to recruit SCP’s where an engineered crossing already exists. When I, and now other parents from the school, reminded him that the argument against this had already been convincing made and agreed with, Mr Alexander responded that recruitment was not possible due to budget constraints and suggested we fill in the consultation about improving the Number 2 bus route. Mr Rees, the engineered crossing site on the Wells Rd continues to be extremely dangerous, with many recent incidents of cars, bikes, lorries, and now Voi scooters, jumping the red light there at speed. In the time it takes for your road safety consultation to conclude and for any resulting measures to be put in place, serious injury or, heaven help us, worse, could easily occur. We need action NOW. To recruit an SCP would be the quickest and most cost effective solution to safeguard our children from the present and immediate danger posed at the crossing site. So my question, on behalf of the Hillcrest Primary School community, parents and children alike, is this: Given that both Mr Alexander’s stated reasons for not proceeding to recruit have been categorically dismissed and that BCC have themselves agreed with the strength of our argument and accepted that the position should be upheld, when will you be recommencing the recruitment procedure for the School Crossing Patrol for Hillcrest Primary School on Wells Road? Sincerely Anna Boulter Parent at Hillcrest Primary School