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People power wins new £80,000 puffin crossing

Parish council chairman Alan Lee, Megans step-dad Lee Sallabanks and county councillor Mike Brookes celebrate at the zebra crossing. SG250213-112NG

Parish council chairman Alan Lee, Megans step-dad Lee Sallabanks and county councillor Mike Brookes celebrate at the zebra crossing. SG250213-112NG

A girl of ten psychologically scarred after being run over on a zebra crossing has been granted her dearest birthday wish – a safe place to cross.

Megan King escaped with cuts and bruises following the crash in Kirton’s High Street last November, but was left too scared to go out even to play at nights with friends.

Her family and friends mounted petitions and a huge Facebook campaign to persuade Lincolnshire County Council to install a lights controlled crossing and Lincolnshire County Council announced on Friday it will do just that.

An £80,000 puffin crossing will replace the zebra crossing and it’s likely the work will be completed in the school summer holidays.

Megan will celebrate her 11th birthday in a few days’ time and was delighted when she heard about the new crossing.

Her step-dad, Lee Sallabanks, said: “She was jumping in the air. She was absolutely made up.”

The family had always told Megan she must use the zebra crossing to go to school, but they and Megan have had to re-think that since the accident and have taken her to school themselves to ensure her safety.

Mr Sallabanks said: “This news is a massive, massive boost for her and we hope she can regain her confidence and go out to play again.”

Kirton Parish Council chairman Alan Lee said parish councillors had been trying for a few years to get a pelican crossing and, at the end of the day, Lincolnshire County Council became very supportive.

He said Megan’s accident had brought to the forefront just how dangerous the zebra crossing is and the new puffin crossing will help all of the village’s schoolchildren as well as the elderly people who cross the road there.

Coun Lee said the crossing splits the village in two and there are busy junctions either side.

He said cars coming out of the junctions “don’t seem to stop” and pedestrians have to wait ages at peak times.

County councillor William Webb, executive member for highways, said: “I am delighted to confirm that we will replace the zebra crossing in Kirton and build a new puffin crossing.

“We’ve listened to local residents, taken on board their concerns about safety, and responded accordingly.

“I think it’s great that the community has come together like this and I’m proud to be able to say that we’ve provided a solution that pleases everyone.”

The council says its decision “comes on the back of a campaign by the local community who were concerned about the safety of children using the crossing”.

 

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