Toynbee campaigners report missing sign

Spot the difference

Campaigners battling for the introduction of a safe crossing outside Toynbee School are asking Hampshire County Council to replace a ‘School Ahead’ sign that has disappeared from Bodycoats Rd giving drivers no warning that children may be crossing.

Last month local mum Suzy Woolford begged HCC for help ‘before someone is killed’ on Bodycoats Road due to poor parking and speeding traffic outside the popular secondary school.

Suzy and her supporters argue that Toynbee should be receiving over and above the normal funding spent by the County Council on traffic calming outside schools as since 1996 it has housed one of the few units in the county for teaching visually impaired children.

But although the County Council say they have invested in traffic safety measures, it seems at least one sign has been removed and not replaced .

A search on google street view reveals a ‘school ahead’ warning sign on the corner of Tadburn Close and Bodycoats Road that was present in May 2014 but has since disappeared.

A photo taken by Eastleigh News this morning shows evidence that with the sign post gone, drivers are now parking on the grass verge making crossing even more dangerous by blocking sight lines.

Campaign spokesman Terry Baker said he believes the sign had been missing ‘for months’ and they had been telling the council there is no signage for eastbound traffic on Bodycoats Road since March 10.

The County Councillor for Chandler’s Ford Judith Grajewski told Eastleigh News she had contacted HCC highways this morning and that they were now ‘on the case’ and that they were even considering the possibility of replacing it with a larger more prominent type of sign.

Since the campaign was highlighted on Eastleigh News, it has also featured on TV’s That’s Solent and a ‘local’ newspaper based in Totton and now has over a thousand signatures on it’s petition.

In a statement Hampshire County Council said:

“We have investigated a number of options to improve crossing facilities on Bodycoats Road and carried out a number of surveys to assess the number of pedestrians and vehicles there.

“Bodycoats Road currently has traffic calming measures and uncontrolled crossing points marked with bollards.

“We appreciate, however, that trees and parked cars affect the visibility of these bollards and will be putting in more bollards this year.”

Responding Terry Baker said:

“The traffic calming measures currently in place are totally inadequate – in fact they make the situation worse. Drivers often take to the centre of the road to avoid them or align their wheels so that they do not need to slow down.

“The trees and parked vehicles do obstruct the sight lines for pedestrians so we are requesting that the traffic calming method is combined with giving pedestrians greater visibility to cross safely.

“More bollards will have no effect whatsoever on the congested traffic outside the school. It would not slow down traffic or prevent parking at school times.”

The Toynbee safer crossing campaigners say they want the council to install a traffic ‘pinch’ point and will continue to build up local support and awareness  before presenting their petition to Hampshire County Council.