Bexhill and Battle MP, Huw Merriman, stood with parents of Hurst Green CE Primary School and local residents last Friday to call for action for better road safety measures and speeding controls outside the school.
Following a recent road accident involving a parent with three young children, and frustrated by long delays by Highway England in dealing with broken speed signs outside the school and failing to deliver proposed variable speed limits and cameras, Huw invited parents and residents to make their voices heard at a public demonstration last Friday morning.
By 8.30am parents, pupils, residents and local councillors had turned out in force with placards and banners noisily calling for action to improve road safety on the A21 as it passes Hurst Green School. Standing on the narrow pavement outside the school, parents spoke to Huw to demand action from Highways England to protect their children who have to walk along this busy road each morning and afternoon. The traffic slowed to a standstill as it tried to pass the peaceful demonstration with many drivers honking their horns to show their support.
Huw said “The number of people who turned out for Friday’s demonstration shows the sheer frustration in the village that more is not being done to protect families and children who attend this school on the A21. Time and again, the variable speed signs have broken and taken months to be repaired, the road markings are worn and there is little or no enforcement of speeding in the village. I have written in the strongest terms to the Roads Minister and Highways England to ask them to prioritise this community. It cannot be right that a school located on a major trunk road has such pitiful road safety measures to protect the children. If Highways England cannot manage road safety issues along the A21, one of the most dangerous roads in Britain, then perhaps it’s time they were stripped of this responsibility.
The only real long-term solution for Hurst Green, and the remaining communities, including Whatlington, directly located on the A21, is a by-pass. I will continue to lobby for this and will be contacting local partners to look at every possible way to make this a reality.”
Following the public protest, Huw went into the school and received letters from a delegation of pupils who asked him to do something about the constant speeding outside their school to help keep them safe. Huw added “Hearing directly from the pupils has strengthened my resolve to get some action on this road. The children’s messages are powerful and I will be sending on their letters to the Roads Minister and the Chief Executive of Highways England. I will not rest until we have some reliable and effective safety measures in place to protect these children and their families.”