The following letter came to the Forum. Coach Hill traffic is a topic that the Forum, amongst others, has an interest in so we are publishing the letter to bring the issue to the attention of as many people as possible.
Thank you for the opportunity to tell you about the concerns I, and many others, have about crossing Coach Hill.
I am incredibly concerned about crossing the Coach Hill road. I have a child at Titchfield Primary School and a pre-schooler who will join next year and I experience difficulty crossing this road daily. I frequently see children and families forced to take risks to get across the road – parents with young children and pushchairs, older unsupervised children, people with disabilities – all trying to get to school safely but having no safe way to do so as a pedestrian.
Regardless of whether or not the proposed housing estate goes ahead, I implore you to use whatever influence you have to provide a safe means to cross Coach Hill before a serious accident happens. I have seen many near misses and it is only a matter of time before someone is injured or worse. I understand that the Council are advertising for a Lollipop person during peak school times. This would be an improvement, however thought needs to be given not only to people travelling to and from school, but to other people crossing this fast and busy road throughout the day. It is also subject to absences and resignation, which makes this option unreliable and unsustainable. A permanent crossing facility is what is needed here. It is simply too busy a road to be sending children and vulnerable adults across with no safe means other than to wait and wait and wait (often with young, excitable children in tow) for a gap big enough to get across safely. This can’t be right, surely?
I have more recently taken to driving my children to school rather than face crossing Coach Hill. I’m sure I am not alone in driving when we could walk because crossing Coach Hill with young children is so stressful and feels like such a gamble. This undoubtedly causes a knock-on problem by increasing the number of cars on Coach Hill and bringing unnecessary traffic through the village, which is already congested at this time of day. I would gladly walk every day if the worry of crossing Coach Hill was no longer an issue, and I’m sure others would too.
I hope that you take this seriously and welcome your reply. I would happily stand at the Coach Hill/ Bellfield junction with you so that you can see for yourself what we go through each morning to get our children to school. I am also happy to rally support from other local concerned residents if a bigger voice would help to move the cause forward. I have already been speaking informally to people about this and have a group of parents ready to support with driving some sort of campaign if this would help.
I was also thinking about putting flyers through all the doors in the Bellfield area with the Councilor’s (or whoever would be best) contact details, so that in addition to one group petition, the powers that be hear lots of independent voices of concern. I am aware that petitions and letters signed by groups can have less of an impact than a number of people individually making contact about an issue, hence the flyers idea. I can design, print and distribute these – I have already found some willing volunteers to help me put them through the letter boxes. I think families would also be happy to talk to local press about this if some negative publicity would help to get the attention of the Councilors, if you think this would help.
Please just let me know what we can do and we will do it!
Thank you so much for your time and for listening. I am very grateful to have found the right contact and hope that you will be able to help us.
I look forward to hearing from you.