Campaigners call for new pelican crossing on Daventry road

Staff, children and parent governors from Falconers Hill Infant School who have been campaigning for more safety measures next to the zebra crossing and on Ashby Road outside the school. 'Pictured: Joan Goodrich, Caroline Awmack, Gloria Edwards-Davidson and Teresa Bowmer with children from the school Heather Howard, 6, Branden Tucker, 6, Toby Woodbridge, 6, Kitty Knowles, 6, Archie Long, 6 and Rebecca Campbell, 6. NNL-150930-123544009
Staff, children and parent governors from Falconers Hill Infant School who have been campaigning for more safety measures next to the zebra crossing and on Ashby Road outside the school. 'Pictured: Joan Goodrich, Caroline Awmack, Gloria Edwards-Davidson and Teresa Bowmer with children from the school Heather Howard, 6, Branden Tucker, 6, Toby Woodbridge, 6, Kitty Knowles, 6, Archie Long, 6 and Rebecca Campbell, 6. NNL-150930-123544009
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A pelican crossing to improve safety for pedestrians was the main thing called for by a meeting to discuss the traffic problems on Ashby Road in Daventry.

The meeting, held on Friday, saw members of the town and district council, county council, highways department, police, residents, the MP, and headteachers from the schools along the road, all meet to discuss the problems.

Ashby Road was the original road north out of the town centre – little improved or altered for decades, but now lined with housing estates, and community facilities including four schools, a shop, community centre and band hall.

Despite being bypassed by the town’s ring road, the route is still used by many as a shortcut, and there are fears over safety particularly for young people and children crossing the road to get to and from school.

Gloria Edwards-Davidson called the meeting. She said: “It was a good meeting. Everybody was there from all levels – town up to county. I think it’s the first time we’ve had everybody together in one room like that, so that’s a good start! Interestingly one of the headteachers there had to leave early to effectively be a crossing guard for some of his new starters going across Ashby Road.

“There was a lot of discussion, some suggestions on what could be done. The main problem is that roads are the responsibility of the highways department, which is part of the county council, and they have no money.

“The suggestion made by MP Chris Heaton-Harris was that we would push for a pelican crossing to be installed, that we would ask for a new traffic survey to be done on the road, and that we would sign a letter showing our commitment to those points.

“A traffic survey was done in 2013 – that showed up to 61.3 per cent of vehicles broke the 30mph limit. The survey also showed the road had a large volume of traffic using it, and a large proportion came from the housing estates along it. Following that survey a plan was drawn up to tackle the problems, but nothing came of it.

Gloria said: “I think everyone wants to see something done. I’m sure we’ll come up against obstacles, but this won’t be kicked into the long grass.”