Campaigners organise English Martyrs School crossing public meeting

Alok Sharma, the Member of Parliament for Reading West, will be joining campaigners at a public meeting being organised to raise concerns about traffic on Dee Road outside English Martyrs Catholic School. The meeting will take place at English Martyrs School Hall on Thursday 8 January 2015 at 3.30 pm.

Last month local parent, Emma Simpson-Holland, launched a petition calling on the council to install a pedestrian crossing outside the school. The petition was launched after she experienced a number of near-misses with her children outside the school. Other parents have also expressed their concern that many cars ignore the 20mph speed limit outside the school and that action needs to be taken before an accident happens.

The petition has already been signed by hundreds of local residents and parents at the school and has the support of Alok, English Martyrs School and local parish priest, Canon Michael Dennehy.

Reading Borough Council will be discussing this matter and deciding whether to introduce any traffic calming measures at a sub-committee meeting on Thursday 15 January 2015. The public meeting, which takes place a week earlier will therefore provide an opportunity for parents and local residents the opportunity to try to persuade Reading Borough Council to install a crossing. The Leader of the Council Jo Lovelock has already been invited to the meeting by Emma.

In order to help with the organisation of the meeting, those planning to attend should email or call Alok’s Reading office on 0118 941 3803.

Alok Sharma said: “I do believe we need some concrete measures introduced to keep our children safe. I have been told by parents that there have been recent near misses, one adult has been knocked over by a car and anyone observing the traffic along this road, particularly in the morning, can see that traffic calming measures need to be introduced.”

Alok continued: “Councils often say that they will only act if a road spot has experienced an accident. I just do not think this is an acceptable response in the case of the speeding traffic faced by young children and their parents and grandparents at English Martyrs. If Reading Borough Council representatives can see the strength of local feeling on this issue it may convince them to agree to some positive action.”

Emma Simpson-Holland said: “It is vital that safety measures are put in place. The best option is for a zebra crossing before it is too late, I want the council take this seriously and listen to our concerns.”

Photo: Alok Sharma with families at English Martyrs School

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