Alok Sharma, the Member of Parliament for Reading West, on Wednesday 28th January 2015, organised a meeting for the headteachers and governors from two schools located on Dee Road in Tilehurst, to discuss traffic concerns with the Leader of Reading Borough Council.
All those representing the schools from both St Michael’s Primary School and English Martyrs’ Catholic Primary School made clear at the meeting, which was held at St Michael’s School, that the best solution was a pedestrian crossing on Dee Road.
Following the presentation of a petition with nearly 1,000 signatures, Reading Borough Council has commissioned an investigation which will make recommendations on whether to install a pedestrian crossing on Dee Road. A report will be published on 5th March 2015, which will then be considered by the council on 12th March 2015 when a formal decision will be made.
Also attending the meeting were Emma Simpson-Holland, who began the petition after she experienced a number of near-misses on Dee Road, local councillor Sandra Vickers, who is also a governor at English Martyrs’ Primary and two transport officers from Reading Borough Council.
It was also agreed during the meeting that school flashing warning lights, which have been installed but have not previously been switched on, will be switched on between 8.15am-9.00am and 2.45pm-3.30pm.
Traffic islands on Dee Road were also considered during the meeting, as well as proposals to find a team of people who might split the role of lollipop person after the council claimed it had found it difficult to recruit someone for the position.
Alok Sharma said: “Reading Borough Council will have been left in no doubt after this meeting that the only acceptable solution to the traffic concerns on Dee Road is to install a pedestrian crossing. I very much hope that the council will listen to the headteachers of St Michael’s and English Martyrs’ schools and to the hundreds of local people who have signed the petition.”
Councillor Sandra Vickers said: “I am very pleased that the council is considering this proposal for a crossing and traffic islands and that as a mother and grandmother I consider the safety of our children to be a top priority and hopefully these safety measures will be in place as soon as possible.”
Emma Simpson-Holland said: “I am pleased that the council are going to turn on the warning lights and looking to recruit a lollipop person, but I hope they will still take the crossing seriously as its important a permanent fixture is installed to ensure safety.”