A BLUNDER over road markings in Easebourne, which borders Midhurst has brought new meaning to doing lines at school.
And now red-faced officers at West Sussex County Council have been forced to admit it was a mistake when their workmen painted foot-high warnings ‘School Keep Clear’ in front of an empty building in Easebourne Street.
It was vacated by Easebourne Primary School nearly two years ago.
Ironically in Wheelbarrow Castle – just a street away, where the school is now based – staff, parents and children are clamouring for help to improve safety for children walking to school.
Easebourne villagers Tina Litchfield and her husband Gavin are regular volunteer readers at the school.
“It’s incredible they could make a mistake like that,” said Tina. “You would have thought the chaps doing the work would look and see the gate had been padlocked for years and what they were doing was a ridiculous task and a waste of money.”
She said walking along Wheelbarrow Castle regularly, she and her husband were aware of traffic travelling much too fast and action was needed for the safety of the children.
They have both signed the school’s petition launched last week calling for a signalised crossing.
Easebourne parish councillors were also annoyed by the blunder as a week earlier they had joined forces with volunteers to help improve safety in Wheelbarrow Castle after representations from parents asking for support for their safety campaign.
Chairman Adrian Revill said: “It’s a silly thing to happen. Several of the councillors were quite unhappy about it.”
A spokesman for West Sussex County Council said: “Unfortunately this was a mistake. The lines were repainted back on by the contractor after the road was treated with surface dressing. To fix the problem we are going to cover the lines over with another surface dressing, at a cost of about £500.”
He said school safety markings already existed outside the Wheelbarrow Castle site: “We are in public consultation to extend this into a ‘School Safety Zone’. We will be looking to extend the existing markings to the maximum length we can, along with a raft of other measures such as flashing lights.”
He said funding was already in place and depending on consultation, it would be added to the work programme.