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A public meeting on road safety was held in Kingswood, Gloucestershire on the evening of Monday 14 August in response to concerns raised by the community. The Parish Council called the meeting after three school children were clipped by passing cars, resulting in a fractured elbow for one, while walking home from Katherine Lady Berkeleys School on Wotton Road.

 The Village Hall was full to the rafters with the local community turning out in force to hear from Linda Cohen – Councillor for Wotton-Under-Edge, parents from the Kingswood Village Road Safety Group and the Road Safety and Traffic Manager from the Criminal Justice Department. Three representatives from Gloucestershire Highways Agency were also in attendance.

 Local, mum, Sian Blackham, who started a petition which has over 600 signatures and is part of the newly established Kingswood Village Road Safety Group, said: 

 â€œThe lives of school children walking to and from school are at risk from dangerous driving through the village. Its totally unacceptable that three children have been hurt. This is three children too many. 

“A combination of a narrow footpath, pinch point in the road, parked cars and a convoy of school buses which regularly mount the kerb to get through, at the same time children are walking along the footpath, is a recipe for disaster. At its narrowest the footpath on Wotton Road is just 78cm! Its traffic chaos during school drop off and pick up.

 â€œOur children must be safe walking to and from school. We need everyone to work together to find a solution which protects them. Gloucestershire Highways promised a safety audit before the end of the last academic year but failed to deliver it. This needs to happen as a priority. Applegates and Euro Coaches could easily reroute their busesThis would only add a matter of minutes to the journey time but they just wont engage. The issue has been raised with them time and time again.”

 Councillor Dom Morris (cabinet member for highways) from Gloucestershire County Council and Euro Coaches were invited to attend but did not respond. Applegates declined to attend.  

 There is no alternative route for children to walk to Katherine Lady Berkeleys School from Kingswood.

 Determined representatives from Kingswood Village Road Safety Group will be attending a Gloucestershire County Council (GCC) meeting on Wednesday 13 September to present the petition and put questions to the elected representatives responsible for highways and road safety.

 To sign the petition calling for urgent action on road safety in Kingswood, visit https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/urgent-action-needed-to-protect-school-children-on-wotton-road-kingswood or visit Kingswood Spar and Post Office to sign the paper version.