MP backs campaign for Norton Road crossing amid child safety concerns
PUBLISHED: 08:32 21 October 2019
North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald has pledged to back a campaign led by a Letchworth action group which calls for a crossing in Norton Road.
Sir Oliver paid a visit to the road amid concerns about the safety of schoolchildren crossing the road, which connects Letchworth with the village of Norton.
Norton Action Group - made up of residents from Norton Road, Green Lane and Croft Lane in Letchworth - has been leading the campaign, with the group, alongside North Herts district councillor Morgan Derbyshire and county councillor Simon Bloxham, approaching Sir Oliver to seek his support for further safety measures on the road.
Mr Bloxham has supported the allocation of £25,000 from his Highways Locality Budget for the upcoming 2020/21 financial year for design of a crossing, with a view to a crossing being installed within the following financial year (2021/22) - subject to funding being available.
With need for a crossing already established by the county council, design can begin.
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The remaining issue is the finance, which Mr Bloxham is pressing for and has asked Sir Oliver for his support prior to Herts County Council approval.
Sir Oliver has now contacted the county council's Highways department asking for the crossing to be given support, once the design is ready.
Commenting, Sir Oliver said: "I know from local residents how important this crossing is and I pay tribute to Simon Bloxham for allocating money for the design phase. I have now pressed the county council to fund the final scheme."
A Norton Action Group spokeswoman said: "Following several years of discussion with Herts County Council, we welcome this long overdue commitment to ensuring the safety of many children getting to school, which has deteriorated due to increased speeding and traffic on Norton Road.
"While we're thankful that this issue is now being taken seriously, it is disappointing to discover that the initiative isn't being implemented until 2021/22 and is still subject to funding.
"Over 500 people have signed a petition to make Norton Road safer - this is not new news, the time for action is now and it's long overdue.
"Thanks to all involved in making this crossing happen."