Pupils voice safety fears at hearing

Wanting safer routes to and from Portobello School are (from left) board of trustees chairwoman...
Wanting safer routes to and from Portobello School are (from left) board of trustees chairwoman Emily Larkins, acting principal Ruth Faulkner and pupils Emma North (9) and Grace Carlson (10). They walk up a shared access road to the school by Portobello Cemetery as a bus negotiates a cutting in Harington Point Rd below. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
Pupils of Portobello School have told Dunedin city councillors they are worried about a lack of footpaths and safe walkways near the school.

Grace Carlson (10) and Emma North (9) made short speeches at a city council annual plan hearing yesterday.

"When cars come into the car park at the school, there is an unsafe place for children as cars speed past," Grace said.

"Cars speed over the hill and one day an accident will happen as children rush out to meet their parents."

Emma described Cemetery Rd as a mess.

"It is poorly paved, with slippery gravel, potholes and has an uneven surface," she said.

"There is no footpath.

"It can be tricky when walkers and cars travel together."

Lack of progress on the creation of safe, viable routes to and from the school has been a contentious subject this year, as the council and the Otago Peninsula Community Board had differing expectations about work to be done.

School board of trustees chairwoman Emily Larkins said she was blindsided by what she called a delay in some expected work being carried out.

Acting principal Ruth Faulkner said a lack of safe crossings and pathways prevented some children from walking and cycling in the area.

The council has said the footpath between Allans Beach Rd and the school will be upgraded this winter.

A new crossing would also be added near Allans Beach Rd.

However, the timeframe for a planned extension of a shared path from Portobello past the school is unclear and funding has yet to be secured.

grant.miller@odt.co.nz

Comments

A worthy complaint but also a strategically naive one — if they'd asked for cycleways, the work would already be underway.

 

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