VOTE: Should heavy goods vehicles be banned while children walk to school in Whyke?

Whyke estate residents are calling for developers to take action to prevent children being hurt.

Persimmon Homes is currently building a development called The Hawthorns off Hay Road, in partnership with housing association HydeMartlet.

As part of an informal agreement, Persimmon was asked to stop large heavy goods vehicles accessing the site when children and parents were walking to and from Kingsham Primary School, which is situated just yards from the new houses.

But members of the Whyke Area Residents’ Association say the agreement has been violated on numerous occasions since work started in January.

WECA member Greg Valeio, of Hay Road, said he witnessed an incident in which an HGV reversed down Hay Road leaving children to weave between cars to avoid it.

“I was horrified. I was in the car behind, watching what was happening,” said Mr Valerio. “There is a systematic behavioural failure here to address these problems.

“Really for us the number-one issue from the very outset was having heavy goods vehicles arriving during the school run – we knew there was going to be a problem. I have witnessed eight incidents since mid-January but there have been others.

“We don’t want a child to be hit or injured. We don’t want to be in the position where we have to turn around and say we told you so – that is the worst case scenario.”

WECA said two groundsmen had been appointed to deal with traffic flow, but safety violations were still happening and that a more formal agreement was needed.

Mr Valerio’s wife Ruth, said the company had had a long time to sort out the problems.

“We are asking them to manage two hours in the day, it is quite manageable,” added Mr Valerio. “We are not asking very much from them, this is creating a lot of anxiety in the communnity.”

Construction manager for Persimmon Homes South Coast Stephen Bennet said it was continuing to asses the situation, had taken on board concerns raised and had regularly attended residents meetings.

He said it would continue to work with WECA on finding the best solution for all parties involved.”

VOTE: Do you think action needs to be taken? Should heavy goods vehicles be banned while children walk to school in Whyke? Vote in the panel to the right of the screen.