A PETITION with hundreds of signatures is to be put to the council by fed-up residents who say a pedestrian crossing has been ‘sorely needed’ for years on a busy road just outside the town centre.
Led by Liam Hardcastle, who created the online petition last week, more than 600 signatures have already been garnered in favour of a crossing on Racecommon Road.
There are three primary schools – Joseph Locke Primary, Shawlands and Holy Rood – on neighbouring Shaw Street.
Parents have expressed safety concerns due to the volume of traffic and the speed of vehicles.
“Residents feel there should be a pedestrian crossing so that parents, children, disabled and our elderly can cross this busy road to access the schools and amenities safely,” said Liam, who is running as a Barnsley Independent Group candidate in the next local election.
“In the past this issue has been brought up a number of times, but has been met with no action due to issues with cost and there not being enough fatalities.
“Does there really have to be fatalities before something is done?
“Surely that is what we are trying to avoid.
“My issue is we can spend thousands on Christmas lights and the town centre but we can’t spend a few thousand on people’s safety. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for.”
The petition has also been signed and endorsed by local author Milly Johnson, and residents have voiced numerous reasons behind their signatures which largely indicate the main worries are for school children after there has been no crossing patrol for almost two years.
Julie Pratt, whose children attend Shawlands Primary School and have to cross the road daily, says the issues have meant she has often had to take on the role of a crossing patroller to help not just her own but other struggling kids cross the road at school times.
“I’ve been involved in at least three campaigns in the 13 years I’ve been doing this school run, and at I’ve seen at least two accidents caused where a school child has had to go to hospital. If it wasn’t for crossing Racecommon Road, my kids would most likely be able to walk to school themselves so I do feel like this is impacting their independence.
“Drivers don’t stop as there is no indication that they have to, so it’s hard to blame them either really.
“There needs to be some proper warning people often cross the road at this point, as people should not have to walk all the way to the end of the road – with prams and children in tow – just to cross safely.”
Coun Chris Lamb, cabinet spokesperson for environment and transport, told the Chronicle the council will look into the issues.
“We will always investigate any road safety concerns raised by residents, and as a member of the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership, we work with agencies such as the local police and fire service to make our roads safer.
“The council has recently been made aware of this petition, which we understand has yet to be submitted to us. I can reassure residents that we will look into any issues.
“However, when installing any new pedestrian crossings – this is required to meet the national assessment criteria from the Department for Transport, which takes into account a number of factors, and this would therefore need to be considered.”