Rat run sparks danger fears

Streethouse campaign to close local 'rat run'.'Campaigner Tamsin Findlay hands over a petition to cllr Dick Taylor.'p8129a212
Streethouse campaign to close local 'rat run'.'Campaigner Tamsin Findlay hands over a petition to cllr Dick Taylor.'p8129a212

CAMPAIGNERS in Streethouse fear a child could be killed unless a rat run in the village is blocked off to cars.

Mum-of-one Tamsin Findlay has launched a petition and collected 200 signatures to have the gap between 20 and 22 Meadway closed off to vehicles.

Mrs Findlay, 25, says its only a “matter of time” before a child is seriously injured by a driver speeding through a ginnel between the two houses.

She said: “The snicket is convenient for parents because it connects the estate with Streethouse J&I School, but for cars it’s just sheer laziness.

“I’d say 90 per cent of children who go to the school use that cut through and at some point there’s going to be a child seriously hurt. It’s nothing short of a miracle no-one’s been killed. Parents are scared for their children.”

Mrs Findlay – who lives near the ginnel – said it was part of a government and council-led “Safe Route to School” programme which ensures children can walk to school safely.

She said after seeing children knocked off bikes and cars crash into her front garden on two separate occasions, action needed to be taken.

She added: “It can’t go on. People have approached me saying their children have been nearly hit by cars and it’s only a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt.

“Luckily there’s been no major injuries so far but it’s supposed to be a safe route to school. I’ve brought it up in governors’ meeting and I’ve had a petition in school reception and in local shops.

“Everyone’s signing it, pretty much every parent with a child at the school has signed the petition and even people without children are signing it because they’re passionate about the safety of children in our village.”

Mrs Findlay, who has a six-year-old daughter Kasey and is a parent governor at the junior school, handed the petition to Featherstone councillor Dick Taylor last week in the hope the ginnel will be closed off to vehicles permanently or restricted during peak school times.

Coun Taylor said: “We’re supporting the petition because it’s a safe route to school for children in the village and we have seen first hand people speeding through there.

“There’s not really a need for that road – as a footpath yes, but not as a cut through for cars, and the safety of our children is paramount.”

Wakefield Council said the land was part-owned by the council and Wakefield and District Housing (WDH).

A council spokeswoman said: “We will always consider the view of local residents and if we receive a petition regarding this then we will investigate and respond accordingly.”