Mother petitions for pedestrian crossings after son involved in collision

Steyning mother Sarah Petty calls for safe crossing point after her son Finn was hit by a car on his walk home from school. Photo by Derek Martin

A mother has called for pedestrian crossing points to be installed in Steyning after her son was hit by a car on his walk home from school.

Sarah Petty, of Shooting Field, Steyning, said her 12-year-old son Finn was walking home from Steyning Grammar School, along Church Street, on Thursday (February 1) when a car was driven over his feet.

She did not blame the driver but decided to launch a petition to ‘urgently address the need for pedestrian crossings’.

She said: “After being personally affected, I feel it is my duty to draw attention to a much over-looked issue before a more serious accident occurs.

“I think there should be a crossing where the St Cuthman’s statue is along Church Street near to the church yard.

“There also needs to be one in Shooting Field for the primary school as loads of people walk to school in this town.

“The more signatures we get, the more chance we have of getting these crossings. It’s for the safety of all, from preschoolers to pensioners, local residents and visitors. Thank you to everyone who has signed and shared already.”

On Thursday, Finn was crossing Church Street, near to Steyning Library, with one of his friends when a car turned left into Church Lane before being driven over his feet.

He suffered bruising and was taken to hospital where he was told he had not broken any bones.

His mother added: “Finn has been having difficulty walking since the incident and had to miss a couple of days of school.

“The woman who was driving the car stopped and gave Finn a lift back home before she reported it to the police.

“I don’t blame this woman and don’t want to take it any further.

“I will be contacting our MP Nick Herbert to see if he can help.”

David Barling, West Sussex county councillor for Bramber Castle, said he was aware of the accident in Church Street.

He said: “I will discuss this with our local Highways Manager Chris Stark as a first step to reviewing what can be done in order to improve safety at this point.
“Church Street is very narrow and I will liaise with Steyning Grammar School as well.”

A West Sussex County Council spokesman said no applications for pedestrian crossings in the town had been received.

He added: “We were sorry to hear that a boy was injured in this incident and we wish him a speedy recovery.

“Highway improvements, such as pedestrian crossings, are considered through applications made under our ‘Community Highway Scheme’ process. This provides communities with a formal mechanism through which to raise requests for highway improvements. At present we have no applications for highway improvements like this for Church Street/Shooting Field in Steyning.

“Alternatively, highway improvements can be considered through the Local Transport Improvement Programme, if the need is identified for a safer route to school via a School Travel Plan.”

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