Councillors visit Canning Town junction to assess accident risk

Newham councillors joined an MEP to see for themselves a junction where a school fears accidents may happen.

The junction of Barking Road, in Canning Town with Hermit Road and Beckton has caused concerns for the staff and students of Rokeby School since September.

They returned to school after the summer holidays to find that the junction had only two protected pedestrian crossings.

Grant Leppard, assistant head teacher at the school, said: “We fear for our students but also the members of the public who use the road, they could be knocked over as well.”

The school is lobbying both Transport for London and Newham Council for the return of the crossings. A spokesman for TfL told the Recorder that while they were responsible for the maintenance of the traffic lights, because the junction was on a borough road, the local authority had jurisdiction over it.

Andrew Boff, a member of the London Assembly and, most recently, MEP Jenny Jones, have visited the school to see the junction.

Jenny Jones said: “During my visit I witnessed several near hits with pupils (and me) forced to play a guessing game as to the best time to dash across the road. Motorists and cyclists are also confused as to the workings of the junction. I saw several vehicles turning left from Hermit Road onto Barking Road and causing danger to pedestrians.”

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Mr Leppard said he felt the politicians and the local councillors who visited them now understood their concerns.

A Newham Council spokesman said: “The safety of pedestrians and road users is paramount. We understand the concerns over pedestrian facilities at the junction and are taking them extermely seriously. This is why we have set up a working group, comprising councillors and business and community representatives, to urgently review and propose changes to the junction.”