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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

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Nursery staff launch petition for new road crossing

Nursery staff have launched a petition calling for a new crossing to help children get across the road.

Penrith nursery owner photo
Karen James

The staff at Penrith’s Kiddlywinks Nursery say crossing from the business park, where the nursery is based, towards Wetheriggs is dangerous at times, with so much traffic heading into town.

They donned high visibility jackets to show highways engineers how it difficult it was to cross and are calling for two crossings, one from the business park and another on the other side of the roundabout, opposite Cranstons.

Nursery owner Karen James said the children were unable to take part in as many visits as she would like to offer them because the town is only safely accessible by bus or taxi. Staff and other workers on the industrial estate “take their lives in their hands” if they try to get to work on foot, she added.

She hopes they will get the crossings installed, thanks to funding for highways improvements already secured for the site.

Both highways engineers and the county councillor for the area, Helen Fearon, hope that pedestrian crossings can be built into the designs for the £2.3m improvements at both the Ullswater Road and Gilwilly junctions with Penrith industrial estate.

They met Karen to see the problems pedestrians face.

“We don’t get to take the children to as many places as we would like because we have to go by bus or taxi and it takes an hour to install all the booster seats,” Karen explained.

“Some children come here five days a week and that is too long to be in only a nursery environment.

“We want them to get out and be involved in their community. We also want to be supporting local businesses ourselves.”

Nursery staff and other workers also found it difficult to use the nearby businesses to go and buy lunch, she added.

Karen said: “There is a crossing further up at the roundabout itself, but people don’t walk up there to come back again, and for the children, who only have little legs, it’s a long way to go.”

Helen Fearon said that discussions with the nursery had been ‘extremely positive’.

“I’m really pleased that Karen has been in touch, so that we can consult with local businesses about what they feel is needed for pedestrians there,” she said. “It was always the intention to make improvements for pedestrians as well as road users.”

Detailed plans are now being drawn up and the improvements at both ends of Penrith industrial estate are to be carried out around Christmas and be operational early next year.

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