Blunsdon parents’ long-standing concerns about the safety of the Broadbush section of the B4019 were heightened when a six-year-old girl from Abbey Meads was involved in an accident at the dangerous bend in front of Holdcroft House, writes Juliet Platt.
Ella Claxton-Fry, a pupil at St Andrew’s Primary School, Blunsdon was on a trial cycle run to school with her father when she fell into the road at the entrance to Sutton Park recreation ground. She sustained injuries to her hand and damage to her cycle helmet.
“If she wasn’t wearing her helmet I don’t think she would have made it,” said Ella’s mum Carol Fry.
Jo Compton, a Blunsdon parent who headed up the campaign to reduce the Broadbush speed limit to 30mph five years ago, said, “the pavement and road are both very narrow at that bend, and there is a tree on the path with roots that slope into the road, so it makes getting passed very tricky.”
Stuart Boyd, chairman of Blunsdon Parish Council said, “we’ve been talking to Swindon Borough Council for the past couple of years about realigning the footpath but so far we have received no positive response due to lack of funds. However we have written again to the council in light of Ella’s accident, so we hope that this will provide some urgency.”
St Andrews School has recently installed a new cycle rack, and lots of children are excited about getting to school on their bikes. But Carol Fry said, “there’s no way I’m going to let Ella do that now. The road is too dangerous.”
Juliet Platt, Link writer, Blunsdon resident and mum of two, has joined the parents’ campaign for improved safety on Broadbush. “Thankfully Ella’s made a full recovery and the parish council and Swindon Council have been alerted once again to the problem.
“Until the road is made safer we would urge anyone who ever uses it to please be extra mindful of safety when driving through Blunsdon village. Please obey the speed limit and take extra care around the Holdcroft bend. None of us want the safety measures to cost as much as a child’s life before anything is done about it.”