Further crashes outside Stevenage secondary school prompt fresh safety calls

PUBLISHED: 08:25 29 November 2019 | UPDATED: 09:16 29 November 2019

The railings outside Thomas Alleyne Academy in Stevenage have been damaged by a car, prompting renewed safety calls. Picture: Ashley Humphreys

The railings outside Thomas Alleyne Academy in Stevenage have been damaged by a car, prompting renewed safety calls. Picture: Ashley Humphreys

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Railings outside a Stevenage secondary school have been hit by a car and damaged just weeks after being replaced following a crash, prompting fresh calls for action to make the road safer.

Over the years there have been a number of serious crashes on the stretch of road outside Thomas Alleyne Academy in Stevenage - in High Street and James Way.

The headteacher mounted a petition in 2013 calling for road safety improvements and it amassed more than 800 signatures, leading Herts County Council to install new railings, a raised kerb and more signage.

But crashes are still occuring, with two sections of the metal railings currently significantly damaged by vehicles veering off the road and ploughing into them. One of those sections had only been replaced last month.

An eyewitness to the latest crash said: "It was two young lads and it was horrible to see. Luckily neither was injured - just very shocked and overwhelmed.

"The barriers served their purpose and luckily saved them from hitting someone. Accidents happen all too often here."

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People have taken to social media to call for further safety improvements, including speed humps and anti-skid surfaces, with some even suggesting the area should be pedestrianised.

A spokesman for Stevenage Old Town Business and Community Partnership said: "The real problem is it's a dangerously sharp bend and it isn't a flat road - it actually leans towards the barriers and the school.

"We need a long-term solution, or there will be the continued risk of a serious accident and continued cost of repair."

A county council spokesman said: "We are working with our contractors to ensure this route is as safe as possible.

"The railing on the A602 James Way was replaced in October this year. However, it has since been damaged again and we are organising further repairs to this section in the new year.

"In addition to this we will be refreshing the road markings, improving signage along the route with new larger bend signs and installing larger chevron boards with yellow backing for improved visibility."

Thomas Alleyne's headteacher, Mark Lewis, said: "I am pleased to hear the county council intends to further improve the safety measures installed.

"We have made several requests to the council for improvements to this stretch of road and we hope to see the latest proposals swiftly enacted."

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