Milton Keynes gran wins four year battle to keep her grandchildren and other youngsters safe while walking to school

A determined gran has won a lengthy battle to get a zebra crossing built outside a primary school.

By Sally Murrer
Monday, 18th July 2022, 1:18 pm
Updated Monday, 18th July 2022, 4:50 pm

Sandy Payne loves walking her grandchildren to Hanslope Primary school but has always worried about the little ones crossing the busy road directly outside the school.

"It’s like a race track, traffic is so fast and no-one stops to let the children cross,” she said.

"I was very concerned, I feared that one day there would be a nasty accident. And with new houses being built in the village, traffic would only get worse.”

Work on the zebra crossing is finally underway in Hanslope

Though there is a lollipop lady, she is sometimes not there and traffic can fails to stop anyway, she said.

She discovered some villagers had tried to get a zebra crossing installed on the site 20 years ago but their efforts failed.

“So at the end of 2018 I set about getting up a petition,” she said. “I got over 600 signatures and sent it to Hanslope Parish Council, who gave their backing.”

The petition read: “It seems that drivers are unaware of tiny children and parents trying to cross the road, so very rarely will anyone give way or stop to let us cross. We feel that over time when all the impending developments that this problem is only going to get worse.

The crossing is now finally under construction

"We had a ‘Lollipop Lady’ but she is often not there. Our children need protection and a safe place to cross. We realise that Hanslope Parish Council does not have the authority to put into place any new Highways Infrastructures, but we would ask for you to support us in our concern and relay with your support our concerns to Milton Keynes Council.”

After many exchanges of messages, Sandy was summoned to face the Milton Keynes Council’s Cabinet in March 2019 to state her case.

Undaunted, she attended with the Hanslope Parish Council chair Martin Palmer and addressed the councillors.

“We were told that a zebra crossing could possibly go ahead. Eventually, we were told that it would be installed by Easter 2019, but alas that didn’t happen,” she said.

There followed many more emails until finally, in September 2019, Sandy was told MK Council had agreed to fund the crossing.

Finally, after yet more emails and pleas, Sandy and the parish council were told this year that the crossing is going ahead. The work started on Long Street, near Kitelee Close, on June 27 and it is due to be finished very soon.

“Because it has been a long and hard battle to achieve this, I’d like to have an official opening when it’s finished,” said Sandy.

"This is so that I can thank Martin Palmer and Dorothy Courtman from Hanslope Parish Council, the ward councillor Chris Wardle, Jonjo McBride from MK Highways and all the parents, grandparents and everyone who has helped get this project completed,” she said.

"Now our children will have a safer journey to school... it took four years to convince MKC that a crossing was a necessity but now finally we have one.”