Today’s blog is again a third party submission. It comes from a parent concerned about the forced close proximity of cars and toddlers outside Bedonwell Infant School. I saw the chaos for myself on a daily basis back in 2011 when escorting a disabled lady and her son to school when some B11 bus drivers were being less than helpful to the mother’s condition. Bedonwell school was shockingly chaotic to someone who had not been near a school for a very long time.
Bexley council must be more interested in shoppers than the safety of children, some as young as four years-old. They are compelled to use a dangerously narrow footpath outside Bedonwell Infant & Nursery School in Belvedere.
Cars that mount the pavement are an almost daily occurrence to be faced by parents and children who must be prepared to jerk their children away from harm.
A woman carrying a baby (see photo 3 - click for enlarged views) is forced so close to the edge of the pavement that the wheels of her pushchair are literally centimetres from the cars which constantly manoeuvre alongside.
Transport for London gave Bexley council £3·5m for the redevelopment of Bexleyheath Town Centre, yet no one will cough up a penny to widen a pavement outside a nursery school. Creating an enormously wide pavement outside ASDA in the Broadway may be desirable but to then say that widening a pavement for child safety reasons isn’t really a priority is baffling! I can’t help but think that ASDA may have some input into how Bexley’s money is spent. Outside ASDA the paved area is 20 feet wide already, outside Bedonwell Infant School it is barely three.
The twelve car parking space is indented and does not infringe on road space, (See photo 2) but open a car door and nine tenths of the pavement is blocked. Heads get banged and some parents divert into the road to avoid it.
Perhaps they shouldn’t but waiting risks a pile up of pedestrians and there is no satisfactory solution other than widening the pavement. Railings between road and footpath might deter cars that ‘stop and drop’ while blocking following traffic. The bays appear not to be used by local residents.
Mrs. Brooks, the Headmistress of Bedonwell Infant & Nursery School has asked Bexley council for a number of years to take child safety seriously, yet the only answer so far is, “We don’t have the money”. How much is a child’s welfare worth? The school conducted a poll of 400 parents asking if they felt safe outside the school; 396 said they did NOT feel safe!
Why is parking for twelve cars outside a school seen as more important than child safety? I’ll leave it up to you to decide.
Err… maybe the governors and councillors seen observing the chaos on 10th March 2011 should be asked for an answer. (See photo 4.) To illustrate just how much extra space is being given to ASDA more photos will be added later today.