Cowfold school children ask their MP for safer roads
Pupils from St Peter's Primary School in Cowfold have asked their MP Nick Herbert for help to make their village's roads safer.
Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert met members of the school council for a question and answer session on Friday (10 May). One of the issues the children expressed most concern about was the safety of pedestrians in the village. Some of the pupils told Mr Herbert of their own near-collision experiences at a local traffic crossing, and they also gave other examples of dangerous traffic issues.
The A272 passes through Cowfold and links the A24 and the A23 trunk roads, bringing speeding traffic and air quality problems. Narrow pavements in the village, especially by the school, mean that pedestrians have to walk very close to passing traffic.
Mr Herbert listened to the pupils' concerns and asked them to set out their experiences in a letter to him so that he can take the matter up with West Sussex County Council and the Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne.
An action group, Cowfold Safer Roads, has been formed by parents from the village and plans a series of fundraising events to help them to buy high visibility vests for all the schoolchildren who walk to school.
Excessive speeding has been the main cause of 192 serious injuries and 8 deaths on Sussex roads since the start of this year alone. Sussex Police recently conducted a week-long campaign with Sussex Safer Roads Partnership to make drivers aware of the dangers of speeding, detecting more than 1,700 offenders.
New Department of Transport data analysed by the Association of British Insurers shows that the Arundel & South Downs constituency is ranked as eighth worst in the country for deaths and serious injuries involving young drivers aged between 16 and 25. There have been 192 people killed or seriously injured in accidents involving cars driven by young people between 2005 and 2011. A further 995 people were less seriously injured.
Nick Herbert said: "It is always a pleasure to visit schools in my constituency and meet pupils, but on this occasion the concerns the children raised were about an issue that I really need to follow up. The traffic through Cowfold is a real problem, and some of the experiences described by the children of drivers failing to stop at red lights when they were crossing were worrying.
"The figures for accidents and deaths on the roads of young drivers in the Arundel & South Downs constituency are dreadful. There's no doubt that speeding traffic through our West Sussex villages is a common concern, and I intend to raise this at my next meeting with Sussex Police and West Sussex County Council."
1. A letter from the Association of British Insurers discussing accident rates in Arundel & South Downs can be read here.
2. Sussex Police news - Speeding Sussex drivers detected by enforcement campaign - For the full story see here http://tinyurl.com/d2cvhkx
3. For more information from the Cowfold Safer Road action group, please see their website www.cowfold-safer-roads.org.uk