Pupils campaigned for pedestrian crossing

WILDLIFE expert Johnny Kingdom is used to spotting all kinds of creatures great and small.

But it was a “creature” of the striped variety that was stopping traffic in South Molton on Monday morning.

The BBC wildlife presenter was asked to help open a new zebra crossing that has been introduced to improve road safety in the town.

The £34,000 pedestrian crossing in South Street has been launched to coincide with National Road Safety Week this week.

The scheme was approved by Devon County Council this summer after students at South Molton Community College raised concerns about the need for a safe crossing point through the college’s School Travel Plan process.

The School Council has been pivotal in raising awareness of the issue and has been involved in site meetings and presentations to Highway Officers and Councillors to help decide on its location.

Devon County Council Chairman and local county councillor for South Molton Rural, Jeremy Yabsley said, safety at the “busy” crossing point had been “an issue for the school for years”.

Joshua John, head boy at the college, said: “The crossing really will make a difference to the pupils and others who live in the local area. It was great to have a chance to explain our views to the council, and that they have listened to us.”

Maureen Gooding, assistant vice-principal added: “It will make a real difference to the safety of our students, and it has been an incredibly positive process for our school council to have had the chance to feed their ideas into the planning process.

“The students’ views have been listened to and valued.”

The School Travel Plan process allows schools to look at ways to improve road safety, reduce car dependency and encourage students to walk and cycle to school.