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Father's fear sparks petition

PUBLISHED: 21:14 28 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:22 24 February 2010

A CONCERNED father has launched a safety petition after his four-year-old son was knocked down by a car on his way home from school.

Sonia Page was walking their son Robert and his ten-year-old sister home from Brinkley Grove Primary School in Highwoods, Colchester, when Robert ran into the path of an oncoming car.

A CONCERNED father has launched a safety petition after his four-year-old son was knocked down by a car on his way home from school.

Sonia Page was walking their son Robert and his ten-year-old sister home from Brinkley Grove Primary School in Highwoods, Colchester, when Robert ran into the path of an oncoming car.

Now father Andy is appealing to transport authorities to create two new pedestrian crossings following the lucky escape.

On Wednesday afternoon , the Pages had crossed half way over Brinkley Lane to a pedestrian island, when Robert stepped out in front of the vehicle, which was travelling very slowly.

Robert's sister Abbey ran to their nearby home in Regents Close where she told her father about the collision.

Mr Page said: "I sprinted like Linford Christie to the site of the accident."

The incident happened about 100 yards from the family doctors' surgery and Mr Page rushed his son there for treatment.

Doctors advised the parents to keep him under observation for the next 24 hours, and treated him for shock. He was badly shaken but not hurt.

Mr Page has started a petition, which he intends to hand to Colchester Borough Council.

He said: "Local residents feel strongly about this issue and I'm confident we will get a lot of signatures. We also have support from both our local councillor and local schools."

He added: "Yesterday we were lucky. Tomorrow we might not be.

Robert was able to return to school the next day. Luckily all that was dented was his pride."

Councillor Gerard Oxford (Ind, Highwoods) had previously lodged a request for a pedestrian crossing at Brinkley Lane to the council but his application was turned down.

Mr Oxford said: "This recent accident has only expedited our determination to push for more pedestrian crossings. Pedestrian safety is of paramount importance, and Highwoods has had a high success rate with the council, managing to acquire five new pedestrian crossings in as many years.

"We are also rallying for traffic calming measures to be implemented in the areas surrounding the school."

He added local councillors would be looking for other funding avenues, such as the 'Safe Routes to School' campaign, if the council could not fund the site.

The petition will be delivered eventually to Christopher Arnold, Colchester Borough Council's cabinet member for planning and transport. He said: "I extend my sympathies to anyone who is involved in a road traffic accident and to their families."

He explained: "The council decides to place pedestrian crossings in places which are the most dangerous statistically - this is determined partly by how many accidents are logged at a site. All accidents recorded by police are accessed by the council and examined for trends. The more trends, the more likely the council will act, rather than on the basis of one accident."

'Safe Routes to School', which operates in Colchester, is a co-operative venture between the local authority, school staff and students, parents and local residents. Its aim is to enable more children to walk and cycle safely to school.

Of the 80 or 90 applications for pedestrian crossings that are made across Colchester borough the council only fund two a year. Potential sites are assessed according to risk factors such as volume of traffic, potential elderly and young pedestrian users, and how many accidents have happened at the site - the top two sites are then funded.

Five sites in the Highwoods ward have been nominated for this year including the site at Brinkley Lane.


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