"Sooner or later, there will be a terrible accident" claims school safety group (From Watford Observer)
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"Sooner or later, there will be a terrible accident" claims St Clement Danes School safety group
Chorleywood campaigners are calling for action to be taken to ensure that their children can travel to school safely before there is a "tragedy".
Chorleywood Action for Improved Road Safety (CAIRS) was formed by a group of concerned parents and residents whose children attend St Clement Danes School, in Chenies Road.
The founders of CAIRS, Rachel Hatfield, explained that the group was created as worries grew over the increased dangers their children face when travelling to school, particularly following the turbulent weeks of weather the county has been experiencing lately.
Mrs Hatfield commended St Clement Danes for being "an outstanding school", which provides "excellent" education to her children.
She added: "The excellence and commitment of the staff and students at this leading school is sadly not matched by those who run the public sector services we all rely on to access the school site.
"Every week day in term time, more than 1,600 people move in and out of the school, navigating traffic on Chenies Road, Green Street and Common Road.
"Yet there are no pedestrian crossing and few dry paths, forcing crowds of students to walk on roads and navigate traffic for which the speed limit is 40mph, and above."
The roads around St Clement Danes
Mrs Hatfield said CAIRS was founded to allow further collaboration with the school and the local authority to help improve the safety of students.
She added: "Although the local authorities have been encouraged by local residents, councillors, politicians and school staff over many years to address these issues, very little has been done. This is not acceptable.
"Our objective is to ensure that, around this busy school, speed limits are reduced, paths are maintained and pedestrians can cross roads safely."
Another founding member of CAIRS, Kathy Miller, said she is worried there will be a "terrible accident" one day.
Ms Miller said her two children, who attend St Clement Danes School, cannot go down Green Street when it is flooded and are forced to walk across Chorleywood Common and then along the A404, where "the pavement is often so badly flooded that kids use the road, an obvious danger".
Green Street blocked by flood water
Ms Miller added: "St Clement Danes is an oversubscribed school, in fact it is one of the reasons many people move to Chorleywood, yet the risks our children take when walking to school in wet weather are enormous and frankly unacceptable.
"Sooner or later, there will be a terrible accident and everyone will wring their hands and say 'why wasn't something done earlier?' I just hope someone in authority comes up with a solution before there's a tragedy."
Gemma McKelvey, spokesman for Hertfordshire County Council, said: "Ringway crews, on Hertfordshire County Council's behalf, have been working tirelessly over the weekend to deal with a large number of flooded roads after more heavy rain caused widespread flooding across the county.
"Green Street is one of the roads that has been flooded and to get to St Clement Danes School in Chenies Road people can cross Chorleywood Common and travel along the A404. We appreciate this is not as direct as the route along Green Street but we are working to clear this as soon as possible.
"With more rain forecast for the rest of the week, drivers and pedestrians are advised to allow extra time for their journeys. Information about road closures is available on www.hertsdirect.org/roadclosures"