Bangor school plea to motorists: Slow down or someone will be hurt

Reporter:

Dale Spridgeon

Children deserve to be safe when they go to school say a headteacher and a parent who fear a lack of road signage is putting lives at risk.

Headteacher Kay O’Hanlon and mum Olivia Elliott are calling on Gwynedd Council to put in place a school sign and to connect orange warning lights beside of Our Lady’s School (Ysgol Ein Harglwyddes) on Caernarfon Road in Bangor.

The 130-pupil Roman Catholic primary school is close to an overhead railway bridge in a busy part of the city and was the scene of a serious accident last year when a car collided with the school’s mini-bus.

“We have been in endless talks with the council asking for a school sign and lights. They eventually did put lights up, but haven’t switched them on,” said Olivia Elliot, who is a parent governor.

”We desperately need a school sign, which we understand.” 

“By Government legislation, all schools should have,” said the mum of one.

“The council is not helping us. In desperation, the children have actually started putting up their own signs by the school railings. 

“We’ve also asked for a lollipop lady, but we never get anywhere. 

“I stood with a clicker and counted 600 cars go past in a half-hour period, a thousand cars an hour – and they don’t do 30mph. No one slows down. No one realises there is a school there as there is no sign.” 

During the accident, the force of impact spun the school mini-bus round leaving it wedged up against the wall on the school side.

“It is lucky there were no children walking,” Ms Elliot said. 

“We have to put pressure on the council and to keep our kids safe. It is putting their lives at risk.” 

Headteacher Kay O’Hanlon said: “All children, including ours, deserve to be safe when they come to school.”

“As part of their work with the Bangor and Anglesey Rotary Club, the children have taken on their own road safety issue by designing and putting up their own posters warning motorists to slow down.” 

A spokesman for Gwynedd Council said: “Ensuring the safety of pupils as they travel to and from school is a priority for the council and the county’s schools.

“Officers from the council’s transportation zervice have met representatives from Ysgol Ein Harglwyddes in Bangor, and have visited the site to discuss road safety matters. 

“As a result, a series of road safety measures are in the process of being implemented, with new signage being installed this week to make motorists aware of the fact that they’re approaching a school.

“In addition, replacement flashing lights are in the process of being installe,d which will remind motorists of the need to watch their speed as they approach the school, as well as the designated crossing located on the approach to the school from the Caernarfon Road direction.”

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