Turning ‘an accident waiting to happen’

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FEARS have been voiced that it is only a matter of time before a child is injured or killed at a junction near a Bedlington school unless action is taken to make it safer.

Residents living near St Benet Biscop Catholic High School say that buses taking pupils there struggle to negotiate a junction leading to Ridge Terrace and are often forced to mount the pavement to make it round the corner.

Bedlington Forum member Brian Oliver last week told Northumberland County Council’s south east area committee that many children walking to school are oblivious to the danger they face from turning buses.

One child he knew of had only narrowly avoided being hit, he added.

“Years ago, there was a petition about a toucan crossing near the school, and the petition was a success,” said Mr Oliver.

“The petition also raised concerns about the high volume of traffic, and there was a site visit, but it has come to our attention again now that a bus nearly hit a child at the school.

“We need to address the problem of the high volume of traffic. When these buses come along the road, it is so tight they are forced to mount the pavement in order to get round the bend.

“We need to give the kids some protection.

“There are four schools in this immediate area – a mass of kids – and I would appreciate it if someone could look at the area and do something about the situation.

“There are buses in and out of a very tight entrance every day.

“There is something wrong with the access.

“The only option is for them to bump across the kerb.

“These buses are going into what was effectively a back lane.

“They originally suggested a turning circle, but the school became so successful it expanded, and there is very little space now for the buses to do that.”

The council agreed to reconsider the problem.