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Child hit by car outside St George’s School in Kesteven Road, Stamford prompts call for action to stop inconsiderate parking and speeding drivers

Renewed calls for action against inconsiderate parking and speeding drivers have been made after a school boy was hit by a car.

A primary school pupil was seriously injured after being hit by a car near St George’s Primary School in Stamford last week.

After the incident a number of people took to social media sharing their concerns about vehicles in the area, labelling it as ‘a tragedy that has been coming for too long’ and blaming the ‘chaos’ on parents dumping cars in the ‘most inappropriate places’.

St George's Primary School. Photo: Google
St George's Primary School. Photo: Google

Gemma Heathershaw, who has a four-year-old daughter Kayleigh at St George’s School and a two-year-old son Aidan at neighbouring The Ark Nursery, has been campaigning for new safety measures for months.

Gemma, a member of the parent teacher association, said: “Clearly something needs to be done.

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“I’ve been contacting the council since September.

Gemma Heathershaw with her daughter
Gemma Heathershaw with her daughter

“Sadly it wasn’t a huge surprise a child got knocked down.

“It was an accident waiting to happen.”

She added that another child had been clipped by a passing car before Christmas.

Kesteven Road, Stamford. Photo: Google
Kesteven Road, Stamford. Photo: Google

Among the issues Gemma has raised with Lincolnshire County Council, the highways authority, are vehicles travelling too quickly in the area, cars parking on the grass verges, buses using Kesteven Road as a cut through and drivers parking in the restricted area outside the school.

Unlike other town schools St George’s does not have a crossing patrol.

However when Gemma contacted the council’s road safety partnership she was told that Kesteven Road does not meet the required criteria for a lollipop person.

The reasons given were that there aren’t enough unaccompanied children exiting and entering the school, no evidence of cars exceeding the speed limit and no history of anyone being killed or seriously injured in the past three years.

Stamford Welland Academy principal Vicky Lloyd
Stamford Welland Academy principal Vicky Lloyd

“They are basically waiting for someone to die before they take action,” said Gemma.

“Because there haven't been fatalities they won’t bother doing anything.”

After seeing the success tree planting in Sutherland Way had at keeping drivers off the grass verges, Gemma believes the scheme could reduce dangerous parking in her street.

She said: “Kesteven Road is a lovely area and community and it is a great school. But the busyness of the road is increasing and parking needs to be resolved.

“The easiest and cheapest solution is tree planting.”

Laura Martin, executive headteacher of St George’s, regularly urges parents to park considerately in the weekly school newsletter.

Ms Martin, who declined to be interviewed, said in a newsletter released after the crash that the safety of pupils is a priority and that she hopes ‘we can all learn from this incident’.

“Over the past few months, a number of concerns have been raised by parents/carers and by residents in the local area about parking,” she added.

“Some members of the school community continue to park on the yellow zig zag markings outside of school but also leave cars too close to junctions, on pavements or blocking driveways.”

Parents are permitted to leave their cars at Nisa or the Stamford Free Church while dropping their children off.

A site survey by Lincolnshire County Council was conducted at St George’s Primary School in December, however at the time, the survey did not accurately reflect a standard school day as several classes had left early due to a planned Christmas activity.

Because of this an officer returned on March 7 and will conduct a final survey on April 17 to reassess against the criteria as outlined above.

Once these results have been collated, a decision will be made as to whether a school crossing patrol can be introduced.

There are no current plans to introduce further traffic calming measures in the area, but a spokesperson for the county council suggestions will always be considered.

Stamford Welland Academy in Green Lane is half a mile down the road and according to headteacher Vicky Lloyd also faces traffic problems.

Her biggest concern is the speed drivers travel.

“It really concerns me and I think it is an accident waiting to happen,” Mrs Lloyd said.

“The speed people drive knowing there are schools nearby is not right.”

There have been a number of crashes in recent years by the Kesteven Road and Green Lane junction. Thankfully no pedestrians were involved.

Stamford Welland Academy, which has seen an increase of 150 pupils in the past four years, hopes to widen its entrance to allow buses to offload in the school’s car park.

Steven Batchelor, senior manager at Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership, said: “It’s everyone's responsibility to ensure that children are safe when travelling to and from school.

“There are various safety measures in place around Kesteven Road/Green Lane, including clear signage, road markings, no waiting zones and a section with an advisory speed limit. “It’s important that these are all followed and that motorists pay extra care and attention to the road in these areas.

“We know parking is a common issue outside schools, and while Lincolnshire Police have the power to take enforcement action against illegally parked cars, we urge parents and carers to help us keep pedestrians safe by parking responsibly, or walking where possible."

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