Chichester school welcomes safety measures

Teachers, parents and pupils have expressed their delight and relief at the introduction of a permanent crossing patrol by their school in Chichester – with promises that more road safety measures are on their way.

Rumboldswhyke CofE Infants’ School was rocked by a ‘horrific’ accident on the nearby Whyke Road, where a mother bravely pushed her two daughters to safety before being hit by a skip lorry.

Parent Jodie Hodges stepped forward as a volunteer school crossing patrol officer immediately after the accident which took place in February this year.

But now Sharon Miles, also a parent, has been given the thumbs-up to take on the role full time.

“We are delighted there is a permanent school crossing patrol at Rumboldswhyke once again,” said Rumboldswhyke headteacher Fiona Sayce.

“We have waited three years for this position to be reinstated and are relieved our families can now cross the busy Whyke Road safely.

“Mrs Miles has taken over the permanent role after Mrs Hodges stood in voluntarily once the site at Whyke Road had been assessed, soon after an horrific accident involving a parent from school earlier in the year.

“Our families are thrilled with having a friendly face each day to support them.”

West Sussex County Council had interviewed a parent more than a year ago for a full time school crossing patrol officer but the appointment couldn’t go ahead because of budget cuts.

The school said the mother involved in the road accident, which sent shockwaves through the community, is recovering well.

Whyke Road was re-surfaced soon after the accident. It is also hoped that a School Safety Zone will be put in place on the same road, to calm road traffic. The introduction of double yellow lines on the same road is also something the school are hoping for.

On Friday children held a ‘Be Bright, Be Seen’ car-free day last Friday, which saw pupils walking in, or travelling to school on their bicycles and scooters.

Mrs Sayce added: “This was the culmination of a very successful National Walk to School week, promoting alternative methods of travelling to school.

“The week included children making road safety and parking posters. We had a day with the county travel advisor on road safety and stickers every day for finding alternative ways to come to school, or indeed, parking in the church.”

The school wants to remind parents not to park by the school, but instead use the nearby church car park before safely crossing the road.