Steyning Grammar School teacher joins call for safer crossing points

Steyning mother Sarah Petty called for safe crossing points after her son Finn was hit by a car on his walk home from school. Photo by Derek Martin
Steyning mother Sarah Petty called for safe crossing points after her son Finn was hit by a car on his walk home from school. Photo by Derek Martin

A teacher from Steyning Grammar School joined calls for pedestrian crossing points to be implemented near the school after one student was hit by a car on his walk home.

At a West Sussex County Council meeting, in the Steyning Centre, on Wednesday, director of boarding Tom Leighton asked councillors to consider putting two crossing points in place to protect children making their way to and from school.

He said: “There are no existing traffic calming measures in the town. It is crazy that there are none in place by the library and the church or by Shooting Field up to the school.

“Two thousand children make their way to and from school across these roads every single day. We just want some recognition from West Sussex County Council that there is a problem here.

“A young person was recently hit and hurt on his walk home from school on these roads. It is a problem that we need to solve.”

Mr Leighton was referring to 12-year-old Finn Petty – a Steyning Grammar School student – who was hit by a car as he made his way home along Church Street, Steyning, on February 1.

After the incident, his mother Sarah launched a petition calling for traffic calming measures to be implemented and had received 454 signatures as this newspaper went to print.

In launching the petition, Sarah said it was her ‘duty to draw attention to a much overlooked issue before a more serious accident occurs’.

She added: “The more signatures we get, the more chance we have of getting these crossings. It’s for the safety of all, from preschoolers to pensioners, local residents and visitors. Thank you to everyone who has signed and shared already.”

On Wednesday evening, Arizona Hutchens, a boarding student at Steyning Grammar School, said: “I know other students who walk to school everyday and are trying to get there quickly. They may not really look when they walk out into the road and rely on traffic to stop because they are in a rush to get to lessons on time.

“Not a lot of drivers seem to stop and there is a problem with the number of drivers that don’t indicate.”

David Barling, West Sussex County Councillor for Bramber Castle, said he was ‘in support’ of traffic calming measures and would meet with representatives of the school to see how they could be implemented.