A COUNCILLOR has ‘grave concerns’ for the safety of youngsters heading back to a Barnsley’s largest school - as overdue roadworks mean they have to navigate a busy crossroads.
Roadworks are in place on Dodworth Road near Horizon Community College while a heavily criticised gyratory - which cuts through Penny Pie Park - is entering its final stages.
Coun Peter Fielding, who represents the Dodworth ward, revealed he has been contacted by parents who are worried for their children’s safety due to a lack of safe walking routes around the school.
Coun Fielding says youngsters will have to use four pelican crossings at the busy crossroads of Broadway, Dodworth Road and Pogmoor Road, which is ‘heavily congested due to the lane closures, roadworks and changes to the traffic light sequencing’.
“Hundreds of Horizon students walk along Pogmoor Road to Horizon and with footpaths on Pogmoor Road and Dodworth Road closed, instead of having to only use one very safe crossing point outside Horizon, now have to use four pelican crossings around one of the busiest junctions in Barnsley at the busiest time of day,” Coun Fielding added.
“I am very concerned about the safety implications of the current state of the junction of Dodworth Road, Pogmoor Road and Broadway due to the ongoing construction of the Penny Pie Park gyratory.
“I have grave concerns for the safety of students having to return to school through this shambles but I sincerely hope that my fears are not realised.
“It is very disappointing that childrens safety is given such a low priority compared to the need to maintain traffic flows.”
He also raised concerns that the roadworks were behind schedule - something which council bosses said is due to ‘unidentified cables’.
A spokesperson said: “Due to some issues and the discovery of unidentified cables at the college entrance, Casey Group has had to adapt their works schedule - this means the existing road management will continue in place for now.
“As this is a live project, alterations from time to time are required, and issues do arise.
“We’re working closely with contractors, and all safety measures will be taken to manage traffic and pedestrian routes in the area.
“Pedestrian routes are clearly marked, and working areas will be securely fenced-off, with signage in place.
“People should use all existing and temporary crossing points at all times.
“Unfortunately, the planned pedestrian access through the park is currently not available due to the contractor’s health and safety concerns within the site.
“We’ll continue to work with them to make sure the footpath is available as soon as possible.
“Information has been shared on the council website and social media.
“It has been sent to all stakeholders, including the nearby primary schools and Horizon Community College, to share with pupils and their parents or guardians.”