Egremont children in traffic hazard protest

6th July 2010 

In a remarkable initiative the Children of Egremont’s Wright Street, which is just inside Liscard Ward (recently won for Labour by Cllr Darren Dodd) decided ‘enough is enough’ and took to conducting their own protest.  Their opportunity came when they chanced upon a discarded mattress which they commandeered to use as an improvised  ‘traffic calming’ obstacle. 

The driver of the car to the right was most understanding. So was the driver of the 4x4 seen just behind the children. However, whilst applauding the children for their initiative, Darren advised them against continuing their 'direct action' protest as perhaps not all drivers would be as sympathetic as these. Rather than the kids taking risks Darren has arranged petitions to Council for them to have their voices heard.

Darren felt obliged to ask the children and their parents to take no more risks with the mattress as not every driver could be expected to be as good natured about it as the driver seen in the car to the right of the picture, nor the driver of the 4×4 just behind the children.   There has been remarkable understanding on the part of almost all the drivers the children asked to slow down. 

A close up of the (very courteous) message the children were trying to get across.

Cllr Adrian Jones, visiting the site with Darren, commented:   

‘These young people clearly meant business.  They are fed up with being unable to play safely in their own locality.  The problem is that because this is a one way street, with parking restricted to one side, cars can positively zoom along unrestricted.’ 

‘The kids told us they had taken this up with other councillors, before Darren was elected, but they were told that “because there had not yet been an accident” the road could not be regarded as unsafe.  Well, we certainly don’t agree!  That’s about as smart as saying a time bomb isn’t a hazard because it hasn’t ticked long enough!  This is an accident waiting to happen.’  As one of the adult residents said:  “Must we wait for a serious injury or worse before some people can recognise danger when it stares them in the face?” 

After asking the children to put themselves at no more risk Darren assisted them in producing not one, but two, petitions.  One is signed by the children themselves and the other is in support of the children and signed by the adults.   

Darren will present both petitions to full Council on 12th July.  Let’s hope the Council will have the good sense to hear these children and get some traffic calming installed, or designate Wright Street as a ‘play street’ before their worst fears are realised.  

Photographs by Mr Tom O’Neill


Don’t forget Darren’s initiative to maintain free swimming in Wirral following the ConDem Council’s decision to retain Labour’s policy only until the autumn.  After that there is the real risk to Wirral that the Tory government, with Liberal collaboration, will put an end to Labour’s free swimming policy for Wirral. 

Don’t let the ConDems take it away from Wirral’s children and pensioners – sign Darren’s on-line petition and please pass it on to all your email contacts as well.

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