I visited Abbey School at going-home time and it was quite clear that the bridge over the A2 is inadequate. Hundreds of children all need to cross the road at the same time and the bridge is too narrow. Quite apart from the fact that it’s impossible for anyone who can’t manage steps.
There was a girl on crutches who couldn’t use the bridge – her teachers had to walk out into the road to stop traffic to help her across. I know the school are doing everything they can to make sure it’s safe, but having several teachers supervising the bridge every afternoon can’t be the right answer for the long term.
There’s also the nursery on the same site – and the church at the weekends - but anyone with mobility problems or parents with pushchairs can’t use the bridge either. Plus in future one of the routes into town from the Perry Court development looks like it will involve using the same crossing point. Everything points towards the need for a new road-level crossing for pedestrians and cyclists.
I’ve been in contact with KCC to make sure there is funding on the way, and I called a meeting with KCC highways officers, Town Councillor Geoff Wade, Abbey School headteacher Dr Speller, the chair of the Governors and chair of Faversham’s 20’s Plenty campaign Amanda Russell.
KCC agreed to assess the feasibility of introducing a new pedestrian crossing alongside the bridge to improve accessibility and reduce over-crowding on the bridge. We discussed several options for improving the crossing, and the importance of making sure safety isn’t inadvertently worsened if a road-level crossing is introduced to supplement the bridge. Future access from the Perry Court development to the town was also considered.
I’ll be keeping up the pressure to make sure there’s progress sooner rather than later