Parents petition for safer Wimbledon Chase Primary school path in Merton Hall Road

Wimbledon Guardian: Jo Bullas and Olivia Kelly-Hicks outside Wimbledon Chase Primary School Jo Bullas and Olivia Kelly-Hicks outside Wimbledon Chase Primary School

The mum of a child who broke her leg after colliding with a cyclist outside the school gates is among those calling for new safety measures in a petition.

Olivia Kelly-Hicks was just five-years-old when she was playing with a friend on a pathway beside Wimbledon Chase Primary School when she collided with a cyclist.

The youngster's mother Jo Bullas said that she was thrown into the air as her one-year-old twin brothers looked on from their pushchair, and was taken to hospital.

She spent six months recovering from the break in her left leg, missing lessons and learning from home.

The 'death trap' cycle path runs alongside the school in Merton Hall Road, Wimbledon, and has apparently been the cause of many near misses involving youngsters and passing cyclists.

Now parents have started a petition calling for improved safety around the Chase Path entry to the school, including putting up give way signs to notify cyclists of the pedestrian priority across the cycle path, repainting the cycle path markings and widening the school gate.

The petition will go to Merton Council. After Olivia's accident in September last year, parents say a sign was put up but it has since disappeared.

Mum-of-three Mrs Bullas, of Ethelbert Road, Wimbledon, said: "Cyclists fly down there at a crazy speed - it will happen again without a doubt.

"I would hate for someone else to go through what we went through.

"Some people don't know there's a school there until they pass it. "It's a death trap."

Amanda Bearman, a mum-of-two, set up the online petition, which has collected more than 200 signatures.

Mrs Bearman said: "The cyclists swerve around children not stopping.

"I have been astonished by the response to the petition. A lot of people have commented on it.

"It is only a matter of time before there's a more serious accident." Councillor Andrew Judge said: "I would say having cycled that route many times it is very clear where the path is.

"It is possible for cyclists to live alongside pedestrians. "We have to be particularly sensitive where children are concerned.

"We will examine anything that's put to us - we want to encourage cycling but we need safety for pedestrians and school children."

To sign the petition visit the website.

 

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Comments (4)

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10:12pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Merton pork says...

Painting a give way line won't help. If kids don't look before stepping into the road, then a "right of priority" won't improve the situation. Maybe zebra stripes would be more appropriate than a give way line, but you still need to stop and look before crossing.

There is not just a problem near the school gates. Pedestrians wander onto the cycle lane without looking wherever it is adjacent to the footpath. Maybe a slight kerb along the length would help.

I supervise my children when the cross roads or cycle lanes. If they run ahead, they know to wait for me before crossing.

The real problem is that bicycles are silent, and people!e assume that they are less dangerous than cars.
Painting a give way line won't help. If kids don't look before stepping into the road, then a "right of priority" won't improve the situation. Maybe zebra stripes would be more appropriate than a give way line, but you still need to stop and look before crossing. There is not just a problem near the school gates. Pedestrians wander onto the cycle lane without looking wherever it is adjacent to the footpath. Maybe a slight kerb along the length would help. I supervise my children when the cross roads or cycle lanes. If they run ahead, they know to wait for me before crossing. The real problem is that bicycles are silent, and people!e assume that they are less dangerous than cars. Merton pork
  • Score: 2

11:50am Thu 6 Feb 14

alphabeti says...

It's very simple. Whether you are in a car on the road or a bike on a path you should alter your speed for the conditions. If you are going past a school and there are children around then act accordingly.

Merton Pork I am glad your children are so well trained. I hope they never make a mistake as it seems no quarter will be given if everyone shares your attitude.
It's very simple. Whether you are in a car on the road or a bike on a path you should alter your speed for the conditions. If you are going past a school and there are children around then act accordingly. Merton Pork I am glad your children are so well trained. I hope they never make a mistake as it seems no quarter will be given if everyone shares your attitude. alphabeti
  • Score: -3

10:16pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Merton pork says...

alphabeti, that's excellent advice. If everyone follows it then there will far fewer road accidents.

In the meantime, unless the white paint gives you comfort after an accident, then a line across the middle of a straight road with no junctions won't help. If you want the cyclists to be aware that pedestrians to have priority then you need a petition for a zebra or pedestrian crossing. The purpose of Give Way signs is explained in Highway Code 172.
alphabeti, that's excellent advice. If everyone follows it then there will far fewer road accidents. In the meantime, unless the white paint gives you comfort after an accident, then a line across the middle of a straight road with no junctions won't help. If you want the cyclists to be aware that pedestrians to have priority then you need a petition for a zebra or pedestrian crossing. The purpose of Give Way signs is explained in Highway Code 172. Merton pork
  • Score: 1

6:52am Fri 7 Feb 14

alphabeti says...

Well I do agree a give way isn't much good given the sort of person who most needs to slow down isn't going to pay much attention. In any case there are already give way markings next to the gate. A physical barrier like the sort of double barrier on the path through Kings College grounds would be far more effective in slowing bike traffic.

Unfortunately a small minority of through traffic on that path seems to exhibit the belligerent and bullying attitude so often displayed towards cyclists by some drivers.

I'd also be inclined to replace the tarmac with some sort of hardcore/gravel which would hopefully improve drainage and discourage the maniacs who occasionally fly down there on TT bars which is just ridiculous.
Well I do agree a give way isn't much good given the sort of person who most needs to slow down isn't going to pay much attention. In any case there are already give way markings next to the gate. A physical barrier like the sort of double barrier on the path through Kings College grounds would be far more effective in slowing bike traffic. Unfortunately a small minority of through traffic on that path seems to exhibit the belligerent and bullying attitude so often displayed towards cyclists by some drivers. I'd also be inclined to replace the tarmac with some sort of hardcore/gravel which would hopefully improve drainage and discourage the maniacs who occasionally fly down there on TT bars which is just ridiculous. alphabeti
  • Score: -1

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