SPARKED CONCERN: Worry over narrow village path to school
A67 path on the road between Kirklevington and Yarm, Image: Terry Blackburn/Teesside Live
“Dangerous” narrow pathways used by children to get to school have sparked worry from village parents.
But a solution in the shape of an extended bus service is on its way, according to a parish chairman.
Greasy conditions and 60mph traffic along the A67 between Kirklevington and Yarm have prompted concerns from parents of children at Conyers School.
Narrow stretches of path and bushes growing onto the narrow paths between the Green Lane roundabout and Kirklevington have seen calls for a bus to be reinstated.
Unlit stretches near HMP Kirklevington Grange and the coming darker winter nights have also prompted renewed pleas for a solution.
One parent, who didn’t wish to be named, said: “The children were walking on the 60mph road to school due to bushes obstructing the path.
“Stockton Council is yet to confirm if they will update the 12 year old risk assessment – they feel this is safe for our children.”
However, a deal struck in return for a 145 home development south of Kirklevington may provide the answer to concerns.
Planning conditions agreed in 2015 mean a Monday to Sunday daytime bus service must be funded by the developer before the 60th home on the estate is occupied.
This will last for five years.
Cllr Nigel de Badgecoe, chairman of Kirklevington and Castle Leavington Parish Council, said he understood the worries about hurtling traffic.
The problem was discussed at a meeting on Monday night but he believed a solution was in sight.
“Everybody has always been concerned about the footpath,” he added.
“It’s been the basis of a lot of campaigns against further development in the area.
“Adding more and more children and houses, means more pedestrians which have to use it to get to the school.
“There also isn’t a safe crossing point on Green Lane to get into Conyers yet.”
Cllr De Badgecoe believed the Story Homes estate had about 45 homes occupied and conversations with Stockton Council officers had started on the bus service.
“We’re looking to provide an extension to the number 7 bus service,” he said.
“It will incorporate Kirklevington, go up and down Forest Lane and turn around with a couple of drop offs and pick-ups – with one outside the primary school.
“Then it will go back down to the roundabout, drop off at Conyers, and then continue into Morley Carr.
“It will do one or two pick-ups there and then back down Whinney Flats into Yarm.”
The parish chairman said the agreement was almost done on the half-hourly service following talks with Arriva and funding from Story.
The service will cover before, during and after school hours, he added.
“It will tick every single box,” added Cllr De Badgecoe.
But the parish chairman added they were still seeking a safe cycle route to the school.
“We’ve raised the conversation before with Stockton Council but they’ve said there is nothing they can do about that because the path is just too narrow,” he said.
“To widen the path for kids to ride to school, they’d have to start buying land – and it suddenly becomes a very expensive job.”
Cllr Mike Smith, cabinet member for environment and transport, said they were are aware of concerns about bushes and shrubs along the A67 – and Stockton Council was arranging for them to be cut back.
“This route to school has also been assessed and is considered safe,” he added.
“The provision of a traffic signal controlled pedestrian crossing on Green Lane and a bus service link between Kirklevington and Conyers School are conditions of planning approvals for new housing in the area.
“Both of these things will be funded by Section 106 monies, which are released in instalments relating to the rate at which the new housing is developed.
“As is the case with all Section 106 agreements, the timing of when these further instalments are triggered is dependent on the speed at which the housing is built and of course, councils have no power over this.”
Words: Alex Metcalfe, Local Democracy Reporter
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