Marlborough St Mary's Primary School and the new crossing point over George Lane: "An accident waiting to happen"
The opening of Marlborough St Mary's Primary school has - as was expected - brought changed patterns of movement as parents and children walk to school.
The design for the school included a pedestrian entrance at the foot of Van Dieman's Close - this was put in to accommodate those arriving at the school from the east parts of the town and to take the pressure off the Ducks Meadow entrance.
This has led to an 'unofficial' crossing point on George Lane as parents and children walk through Town Mill, along Rope Walk and then have to cross over George Lane near the police station to access the Van Dieman's Close school entrance.
At present the crossing patrol lady who used to guide St Peter's School children over the zebra crossing in London Road, is working at this new crossing point - in the mornings only. There are anecdotal reports that some cars driving along George Lane are not stopping as they should when requested.
Since May, the school's governors have been trying to get some action on this dangerous situation from Wiltshire Council officials and councillors. So far nothing has been done.
There is no 'School' warning sign on George Lane - indeed, as pictured above, the sign warning motorists about St Peter's School, which closed since July - is still in position. There is no news as to when an afternoon crossing patrol will begin.
Marlborough.news asked Councillor Fogg, who represents that area of the town on Wiltshire Council, for his comments: "The situation in George Lane is certainly an accident waiting to happen."
"The Community Area Transport Group in conjunction with Marlborough Town Council, has commissioned an independent survey of traffic speeds in the town. This was intended to give the evidence base for further action."
"In George Lane the situation is too obvious to wait, however. Illuminated signs restricting the speed to 20mph when the school is in session must be provided as a top priority: a lollipop person is a must as is appropriate signage."
"SOMETHING MUST BE DONE - NOW!"
Apart from the traditional flashing warning lights at the beginning and end of the school day, one solution would be to put a proper pelican (or similar) crossing at this point.
Its nearness to the crossing over George Lane at Ducks Meadow could not be a reason for Wiltshire Council to refuse to put one there. The new College crossing close to the Pewsey Road mini-roundabout is as close to the one by the College's main entrance - and the George Lane crossing will be used by much younger children on more days of the year.
The school Governors are hoping for Wiltshire Council's help on another issue around the Van Diemen's Close entrance. The footpath leading south off George Lane is too narrow for pushchairs or even families to pass each other.
Governors are afraid that congestion on the footpath could lead to children not being able to get off George Lane in good time. The footpath needs to be widened by a metre or so. But the land either side is owned by several different people.
FOOTNOTE ADDED (November 19): For avoidance of doubt, there are school warning signs on George Lane either side of the Ducks Meadow entrance - put there for St Mary's Infants school - either side of the pedestrian crossing. But the eastbound sign [below] needs some attention: