Diss mother’s Skelton Road crossing plea

Becky Chapman, with her kids Isobel and Sam, is campaigning for a pedestrian crossing on Skelton road, Diss for the children. ANL-160217-100329005
Becky Chapman, with her kids Isobel and Sam, is campaigning for a pedestrian crossing on Skelton road, Diss for the children. ANL-160217-100329005
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Calls to make Skelton Road at Diss safer for children crossing on their way to school have been supported by town councillors.

But cost is an immediate stumbling block - with a crossing with lights costing as much as £75,000.

I was encouraged by the town councillors’ response because a crossing makes so much sense

A petition calling for a fixed crossing point, organised by Becky Chapman and supported by more than 100 residents, including a child minder and Diss Primary Schools Federation head teacher, was reported to a Town Council highways committee.

Mrs Chapman, whose children are at the infant and junior schools, said she had at first planned to petition for a lollipop patrol to see the children across the road. However, she had been advised that the funding for this could always be cut and a fixed crossing point - although not necessarily with lights - would be permanent and benefit all road users.

“I was encouraged by the town councillors’ response because a crossing makes so much sense,” she said.

“The risks are concerning and it worries me that it is going to take a while before anything is done.”

Support for the petition among parents with children at the schools was strong and more signatures could easily have been collected, she said.

Councillors were supportive and recognised that with parked cars in the road, it was particularly dangerous at school dropping off and pick up times, said deputy clerk Sarah Richards.

It was also appreciated that rising school numbers - with more pupils likely to come from housing developments in Frenze Road - meant even more children crossing the road.

Installing a crossing would be a county highways responsibility, said Miss Richards. However, town councillors will look to see if there is any way that a contribution might be made from the Frenze Hall housing development towards the cost.