Batley’s pupil power protests against dangerous drivers

LITTLE Sara Saloo is taking a protest against dangerous drivers to the streets, before the worst happens.

Thursday, 21st June 2012, 1:39 pm

The passionate protester is one of a group of youngsters campaigning to keep themselves and their classmates safe as they go to and from their primary school.

She has taken to the roadside with fellow pupils from the Batley Parish School council in a bid to put an end to illegal parking and speeding drivers who ignore the zebra crossing outside the school in Stocks Lane.

With cars sometimes screeching to a stop at the crossing, headteacher Ian Richardson has said the situation is becoming increasingly dangerous for his young pupils.

Sara, 10, has written to the authorities to ask for a pelican crossing to be installed or a lollipop lady hired to deal with the busy traffic.

“We’re protesting because the cars aren’t stopping for the zebra crossing,” she said. “We trying to make sure the cars do stop, for children to be safe.”

Despite the school having its own car park on nearby Blakeridge Lane for parents to use, teacher and school council head Barbara Tomlinson said some parents still parked on the ‘keep clear’ markings on the road and caused problems.

“There have been no accidents but our children are quite aware of how to behave on the roads.

“It’s an accident waiting to happen, it’s such a busy road and all the buses come down here.”

Mrs Tomlinson said the school council – made up of two elected children from each class – protested outside the school every morning and afternoon last week and now plan to wave their placards twice a week.

“People are more likely to take notice of children,” she said.

“There’s the Salvation Army car park, Aldi’s car park – there’s no excuse whatsoever for parents to park on the roadside.”

Mr Richardson said parents and children had been vocal about the traffic problems on Stocks Lane.

He said: “Cars do not stop at the zebra crossing and sometimes cars have to come to a sudden stop so it’s increasingly dangerous.”