A CONCERNED headteacher has joined forces with a councillor in an attempt to boost safety on a road used by hundreds of pupils a day - after a girl was struck by a bus last week.
Paul Crook, of Penistone Grammar School, believes Monday’s incident, on Huddersfield Road, could have been avoided if highways bosses had heeded long-running calls to take action.
He’s since joined forces with Coun David Greenhough, who represents the Penistone West ward, in the hope of forcing change.
The schoolgirl - who lost her footing on a footpath which is ‘too narrow’ according to Mr Crook - was hit on the right side of her body on her way to school on and hurt her collarbone.
“Widening of the path could certainly have stopped this particular accident from happening, as there are just so many students using it at once and so they are forced to the edge,” he said.
“We’ve raised safety issues but unfortunately the council’s highways department have decided no improvements need to be made at the moment.
“I would disagree with this, as we have hundreds using the bottom exit and the road to walk to school and back home every single day.
“Even if it was just a zebra crossing, that would help, but the costs even for that are ridiculous.
“It’s been around 12 years now that I’ve wanted traffic lights putting in place at the crossing, but unfortunately highways disagree.”
The school is also undergoing a £4.3m extension which will see 250 more students accommodated - further increasing the amount of congestion around the school.
Coun Greenhough said: “I’ve been in consultation with the school and we’ve been pushing Barnsley Council’s highways department to take action on the road for some time now.
“For a school of that size, the road is just too small of an area for that many children to be using to get to and from school.
“About 1,000 pupils leave on organised buses, the rest leave on foot or are picked up by car.
“When the school hits the 1,900-pupil level this will mean even more congestion.
“HGVs use the same road past the school to avoid the low bridge on Barnsley Road, so this is an extremely dangerous situation.
“If nothing changes, accidents like this one will continue to happen because it is the main route in and out of Penistone.
“My worry is that if nothing is done, we will continue to see more of these accidents and I worry that they could be a lot worse.”