If you live outside the Crawley area you probably did not see this story about a 13-year-old boy who died in an accident yesterday on the A23.
The police say they are not releasing his name until tomorrow, but everyone here in Broadfield seems to know who it is. He was at Broadfield East Middle School while Jayne was a teaching assistant, in fact he was one of her students. He was in the same year as our daughter. In fact everyone seems to know him one way or another. There may be 12,000 people in Broadfield, but sometimes it seems like a very small place.
There is a bit more attention on this than usual as it happened right outside our new leisure centre, where there is a new traffic light crossing, and no doubt there will be some accusations thrown around in Wednesday’s local papers, but I hope there is more attention paid to practical matter than to politically-motivated finger-pointing.
I don’t actually know any of the details, or rather I have heard lots but don’t know which are true, since some are contradictory. One thing I do know is that the Broadfield East schools did a risk assessment when they were deciding whether it was safe for them to take classes to the new K2 centre for swimming lessons on foot (it is only a couple of hundred metres away across the A23) and they decided it was too dangerous. This was not because of the road layout, as I understand it, but because of the phasing of the lights, which do not give enough time for pedestrians to cross before they change.
I know that the county council’s leader and road safety officer have already been contacted so I am sure this will be looked at. The road now has a 50 mph limit, which is almost completely ignored, so allowing more crossing time looks like being a smart move. I can’t help wondering why we had to wait for someone to be run over first though.