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Confirmation crossing patrol will return to Portadown school in ‘due course’ after child knocked down

Parents, staff and pupils at St John the Baptist College say they are delighted with the news

St John the Baptist's College in Portadown

A school crossing patrol is to return to post at a Portadown school where a pupil was knocked down last month.

Parents, staff and pupils at St Johh the Baptist College say they are delighted with the news.

Confirmation came after an Upper Bann MLA wrote to the chief executive of the Education Authority on the matter.

The SDLP’s Dolores Kelly said: ““I know from the parents who contacted me, the very real concern that was caused by the withdrawal of this service on children’s safety when crossing the Corcrain Road.

“There are a number of serious hazards which pupils have to face given the location of the College at the junction of three busy roads.

“It was just last month when we saw a pupil was knocked down and this incident serves as a timely reminder to parents and children to make road safety a priority and for drivers to take extra caution during school times, when roads and footpaths are busier.

“With the re-designation as a Key Stage 4 model school, its number of admissions has increased from 300 to 500 and given that more than 85% of pupils walk or travel by bicycle, additional road safety measures are needed and are welcome.”

SDLP Portadown Councillor Eamon McNeill added: “The return of the school crossing patrol and the introduction of a new part-time 20mph speed limit which has been recently announced by my SDLP colleague Minister Nichola Mallon, both are important steps forward in our efforts to making our roads safer for all.

“Recently I had written to DfI to carry out a traffic impact assessment in the locality with the view of installing pedestrian crossings, I am pleased to confirm that they have accepted my request and the traffic impact assessment will be carried out when resources allows them to do so. I hope to update you all in the not so near future.”

The confirmation had come in a response from the Education Authority.

The EA’s director of operations and estates advised the local Assembly representative: “I am sorry to learn of the recent traffic incident and am relieved the pupil was not seriously injured.

“As road safety matters fall out with the EA’s remit we have contacted the DfI Road Service. We understand they intend to undertake a route review and you will be advised by them of the outcome in due course.

“In respect of the school crossing patrol (SCP) we understand that the designated SCP is due to return to post in due course and so a further assessment of the site is not required.

“If, subsequently, the SCP is likely to be off for a further prolonged period we would be happy to explore whether the school can identify someone who could be appointed on a temporary basis.”

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