'Zebras' take to the streets to demand school crossings

Pupils taking part in the demo

Buy this photo Pupils taking part in the demo

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by

PARENTS, children and staff in Headington dressed up as zebras to push for new pedestrian crossings near their schools.

People from St Andrew’s Primary School, Headington Quarry Nursery School and Windmill Primary School donned black and white and were joined by Zak the Zebra – a mascot of road safety charity Brake – to call for the zebra crossings.

They want to see crossings outside Windmill Primary in Margaret Road, at the junction of Margaret Road and Wharton Road, and at the junction of Quarry Road and Quarry High Street.

Sarah Eddie, who helped to create the joint campaign, and walks to Windmill from Headington Quarry every day with her two children Jessamyn, seven, and Alec, four, said: “There have been concerns about traffic flow and road safety in this area for a very long time.

“Headington employs a great number of people and with hospital sites, new housing, and schools expanding, the volume of traffic can only increase.

“We need to act now before there’s a serious incident.”

Windmill headteacher Lyn Knapp said there had not been any accidents at the sites in question but there had been a number of near misses. We had a child missed by inches.

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“We feel it’s an accident waiting to happen.”

The school is consulting on moving to a three-form entry, meaning potentially 630 children could be based on site.

Mrs Knapp said: “As the school expands it’s going to become even more of a problem. We are asking for three crossings and everyone realises that’s a big ask, but to get one would recognise there are some real hazards.”

Six-year-old Amaya Khan-Gordon, from Headington, was among those taking part in the demonstration.

She walks to school at Windmill while her younger brother, Zayan, three, goes to Headington Quarry Nursery School.

She said: “People park in silly places and we want to get a zebra crossing.”

A joint letter from the campaigners was posted to Oxfordshire County Council leader Ian Hudspeth asking for support. Council spokesman Martin Crabtree said: “There are no plans to install crossings at the moment as our resources are very limited.

“However we are happy to listen to any ideas to improve road safety. There have been no recorded injury accidents at the location in the last five years.”

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