NEW railings have been erected at the entrance of Sion Mills Primary School all thanks to a successful safety campaign initiated by the departing P7 students.
In a bid to solve their school’s parking debacle, the P7s hosted a hustings event back in April to lobby support from electoral candidates about the problem.
Outlining the lack of safe parking or drop off/pick up areas outside the school gates as the main issue, the improvements suggested by the students received unanimous support from all candidates.
It was as a result of this innovative event that members of the student council and the Nature Ninja’s committee were then granted a meeting with the PSNI and Department for Infrastructure (DfI) Roads to discuss their ongoing plight further.
Taking all the views expressed on board, the road service promised action and have already installed new safety railings to prevent cars parking at the school gates.
Although DfI Roads were not able to commit to all proposed changes, they do intend to also install a wide, raised ramp to slow traffic which pupils can also walk across, place double yellow lines on the road corners and repaint all road markings in the area.
Primary seven teacher Dorothy McGinley said she is “very proud” of her determined pupils who have left a lasting legacy behind at the school. But, the fight is not over yet as Ms McGinley hopes this is just the first step in solving the wider issue.
“Our ultimate aim is that eventually part of the school’s green area will be used as a drive in and drive out area where parents can drop off their children safely,” she explained.
In an attempt to highlight further the dangers encountered by pupils when travelling to and from school, the Sion Mills Community Forum plan to make a short film with Sion Mills PS pupils this coming September to address the issue more publicly.