Children urge Newham Council to boost road safety outside school gate

Elmhurst School council

Members of Elmhurst Primary's council have called on Newham to help make the road outside their school safer. - Credit: Jon King

A school in Forest Gate has called for action to be taken after a parent and pupil were reportedly knocked over outside its gates.

Children and staff at Elmhurst Primary School fear more accidents will happen unless Newham Council does something to make Upton Park Road safer.

Headteacher Sukwinder Samra MBE said: "We don't want to be waiting for a serious accident. Something needs to happen."

Ms Samra said it is risky because of speeding drivers and the layout of the road - only half of which is one-way.

Upton Park Road

Upton Park Road is the main route to the school. - Credit: Google

A council spokesperson said project managers from its highways team and school leaders held a constructive meeting on April 29.

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"We recognise the community’s concerns and look forward to working closely together to make improvements as soon as possible," he added.

The road itself is the main route to the school, which has 985 pupils aged three to 11.

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However, it is narrow with vehicles parked on both sides - as well as sometimes on the yellow zig-zag lines where parking is prohibited.

Pupil Dinka, nine, said: "That is very dangerous because children and parents walk through the lines to school."

Seven-year-old Haleema added: "This has become dangerous for pupils as the road becomes very busy with traffic."

Head girl Zernab, 11, explained the turning into Stukeley Road gets congested, creating a further hazard.

Ibrahim, 10, said a new driver could easily go into the one-way section and bump into another car as they try to reverse out.

Eight-year-old Muadh said he saw someone run over last year.

"I felt very sad," the 10-year-old added.

Aisha, 10, said the school strongly believed making Upton Park Road one-way will cut congestion, and eight-year-old Zayd said: "Many drivers have been speeding up and down the road. We think road signs would remind them to slow down."

Khadidja, nine, called for signs to remind drivers there is a school nearby.

Het, who is eight, added: "We need the council's help."

Newham Council's spokesperson said options are being explored, with traffic surveys set to determine the severity and extent of the challenges. Parking enforcement is to be stepped up.

A child suffered head injuries after being hit by a car in Upton Park Road in July 2019. The Recorder could not confirm the second incident including a parent.

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