Parents campaign for safer roads in Heathfield

Ayla and Harvey Wright, whose mum Bethany is calling for safer roads near Heathfield
Ayla and Harvey Wright, whose mum Bethany is calling for safer roads near Heathfield

Speeding traffic along a country road makes it unsafe for children to walk or cycle to their village school, families say.

Parents of pupils at Blackboys CE Primary School are frustrated their efforts to get speeds reduced on the B2192 have met with failure. The road from Heathfield to Halland - near the Uckfield spur - is limited to 50mph but they say speeds often exceed 60mph.

Bethany Wright from Blackboys says she’s encouraged her four and six year olds to cycle to school ever since they came out of a buggy and off balance bikes.

But she explained: “We take a bridleway, a country lane and some pavement throughout Blackboys village. The most lethal section, by a country mile, is the village pavement.

"The village cafe is unreachable by foot unless you like walking narrow, disintegrating footways, inches from hurtling traffic.”

And she says she’s had ‘priceless exchanges with local councillors, a senior road safety officer, various police departments and the quasi-utopian Department for Transport circular on setting local speed limits.’

She went on: “Body counts are the governing factor for assessing a road’s inherent danger. Never mind a boy being hit; he pulled through so forget it. His brother is in my son’s class. Forest School lessons have been introduced.

Parents must volunteer for this and we are terrified on one count - we have to cross the 50mph road with more than a dozen children.”

Parents with children at the school are lobbying hard to get the speed reduced. Wealden District Councillor Anne Newton said: “This road is shocking. I’m doing my best to help and this issue is on the Parish Council agenda, but ultimate responsibility for speed limits is with the County Council.

"I’m planning to meet parents who are campaigning for this road to be made safer. We would love to see a lower speed limit. Something that might also help would be a clearly defined ‘village gateway.’"

County councillor Chris Dowling said he also plans to attend the meeting. He said: “I am always willing to meet residents and hear what they have to say so that we can do some investigation on their behalf.”

Bethany went on: “I would be so happy if only something could be done before one of my pint-sized, angel-faced little off-roaders comes to grief.”

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