Inner West Independent

School students protest for school zone in St Peters

St Peters

Students at St Peters Primary School will protest unsafe crossing concerns on Friday morning. Photo: Supplied.

By ERIN MODARO

For a second consecutive year students at St Peters Public School will protest safety concerns about a crossing on Campbell Street. Students and parents organising the protest are voicing their concerns about the dangers of the crossing, with several incidents involving pedestrian near-misses having occurred in the past.  

Sarina Kilham, whose daughter attends St Peters Public School and was involved in a near-miss while cycling to school, organised the protest held in 2021.  

 “Parents are terrified of that crossing,” Kilham said. 

 “We are asking for the 40km zone for the school and traffic slowing measures.” 

Petition for ‘Traffic Calming Measures’ at St Peters

A Facebook event promoting the protest urges parents and students to bring “signs, whistles, fluoro vests, bicycles, bells and loud voices” to the event. An online petition has also been started to ask the NSW Transport Minister to install a school zone and other traffic safety measures to alert drivers to school children at the crossing.  

St Peters

Sarina Kilham. Photo: Twitter.

The protest coincides with National Walk Safely to School Day and highlights the concern for children’s safety when travelling to and from school in a busy inner-city area.  

“You can’t have this walk to school day if you’re not actually making it safe for kids to walk to school,” Kilham told City Hub.

Kilham and other parents of students at St Peters Public school said they had been reporting incidents of drivers running red lights at the crossing to police but had been subsequently told to take the matter up with Crime Stoppers.  

History of Safety Concerns  

Parents have long been advocating for safety mitigations at the crossing and have previously pushed for Transport for NSW to implement a school zone to ensure divers exercise caution and obey the traffic signals at the crossing.  

Transport for NSW rejected the school zone proposal on the grounds that there is no direct access to St Peters Public School from Campbell Street. At an Inner West Local Traffic Committee Meeting in June 2021, it was stated that Transport for NSW was also concerned with impacting traffic flow along Princes Highway.  

When contacted by City Hub, a Transport for NSW spokesperson said that Transport will “install additional advanced warning signs on approach to the crossing, and upgrade the existing signs to ‘Children Crossing’ signs”.

They added that they will “continue to work with the St Peters Public School community in ensuring that the safety of all students is paramount”. 

The protest will take place at Simpson Park just across from St Peters Public school on Friday the 20th of May from 8:30am.  

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