A headteacher fears a student could be killed by a speeding driver on a notorious road where one boy has already died in a hit-and-run incident.
Wayne Parkes told how motorists often travel at twice the speed limit on Maple Road outside Mexborough School – just as hundreds of pupils make their way to and from the entrance.
He told how a speeding taxi driver came close to mowing down a group of students recently and the problem has got so bad that staff stand along the road each morning and evening in a bid to manage traffic and ensure students get across safely.
The road was declared a 20mph zone – reduced from 30mph – in 2008 about 18 months after seven-year-old Kyle McDermott was killed by a hit-and-run driver.
Mr Parkes is now urging Doncaster Council to install a pedestrian crossing and put in road markings as a matter of urgency and added: “It is an accident waiting to happen.”
Kyle’s grandmother Catherine, 75, added: “I see the kids going to school and it’s heartbreaking to think this may happen again. I don’t want the same to happen to another family.”
Pupil Tia-Bella Dent, 11, said: “I was walking to school and I nearly got run over.”
Mr Parkes said groups of four teachers take turns to stand either side of the road and motion for vehicles to slow as students are crossing.
He added: “About two weeks ago a group of pupils had to step back off the road because a taxi driver was speeding past. There is a dip in the road so it is hard to see.
“There needs to be a pedestrian crossing and zig-zags on the road. We get people parking near the school, which makes it harder to see pupils crossing.
“I would urge drivers to kill their speed and to stop parking near the entrance.”
He was backed this week by Labour leader and Mexborough MP Ed Miliband and road safety charity Brake.
Mr Miliband said: “Statistics show if someone is hit by a car travelling at 40mph they will probably die but, if they are hit at 20mph, they will almost certainly live. I hope all drivers will have that in their mind.”
Philip Goose, senior community engagement officer at Brake, added: “We are calling on the government to make 20mph the urban default speed limit.”
Mexborough councillor Sue Phillips said she would pursue the pedestrian crossing issue with the council’s highways department.
She said: “It is disgraceful that drivers are still speeding along this road when a child died only a few years ago.”
Peter Dale, Doncaster Council’s director of regeneration and environment, said: “We would urge all drivers to stick to the 20mph limit. Although this stretch of road has a tragic history, in recent years it is fortunate that there have been few incidents. Improvements such as pedestrian crossings are prioritised to the areas with the worst problems or highest levels of activity. This situation is regularly reviewed and particular attention will be given to any emerging patterns appearing on Maple Road.”
Jade Brice, temporary chief inspector of Doncaster Police, said: “I would urge drivers to observe the speed limit. Officers will monitor the road at busy times to check speeds.”