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VIDEO: Fears Broadbridge Heath school children are ‘dicing with death’

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Children were forced to cross the busy A264 to get to school last week after flooding blocked the underpass between Broadbridge Heath and Tanbridge House School.

The underpass has been full with floodwater on multiple occasions in recent months, and concerned parents of children living in the village have expressed their worry that a child could be hurt.

Tina Brinklow’s son Mikey is one of the village children reliant on the underpass.

She said: “It’s rush hour and it’s extremely dangerous - they are dicing with death to try to cross that road.

“It’s very dangerous even for adults to try to cross - because we have got Tesco there elderly people try to cross.

“We don’t want it to be somebody being killed.”

Tina said West Sussex County Council installed temporary traffic lights when the underpass was flooded around Christmas and called on their return.

She said: “We just need to get temporary traffic lights back until we’ve had a dry period, so it’s not likely to flood again and children can safely go to school.

“All the children that go to Tanbridge that live in the village have to go to school this way, and inevitably children take risks.”

Father-of-four George Lawrance said: “I just think it is a matter of time until someone gets injured, and chances are it will be a child.

“I don’t think it’s good at all, it’s ridiculous really.

“My youngest was standing here crying because she couldn’t get across.”

A spokesperson for the county council said: “Our contractor Balfour Beatty has visited the Wickhurst Lane subway every morning before the school children walk to school to ensure it is clear of water.

“Unfortunately, on this particular occasion, the member of staff who does this had been out spreading grit the night before.

“They did not start work until later that morning and as a result the checks were not carried out in time for the walk to school.

“A system has since been put in place that will ensure there is someone on standby to visit the subway early each morning if the staff contractor is deployed elsewhere to grit again.

“In the longer term we intend replace the pumps at this subway and upgrade the electrics so daily visits will no longer be required.”

Tanbridge House School head teacher Jules White also released a statement concerning the issue.

He said: “We are aware of the difficulties that the recent closure of Broadbridge Heath underpass has caused to students and their families.

“In turn, we have alerted the appropriate agencies and would welcome any developments that alleviate this problem.”

 

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