Schoolgirl's Death Brings Road Safety To Fore

First published in News

The death of a 12-year-old girl outside Tiffin Girls School in Kingston last week has galvanised parents, teachers and councillors into action on improving road safety along Richmond Road.

Tiffin Girls pupil Ekta Patel, from Hounslow, died after being hit by a motorbike ridden by a Richmond man as she ran across the road to catch a bus on October 1, and now moves are being made to prevent such a tragedy happening again.

Ironically, neighbouring Fern Hill Primary School governors complained in the summer that drivers were jumping red lights on the pedestrian crossing outside the school, and councillors had agreed to install a speed table on the crossing.

Those plans are still going ahead, but now shocked and angry parents and teachers from both schools are to meet on November 6 to discuss moves to protect the schools 1,400 pupils.

Long and straight, Richmond Road carries fast traffic between Kingston and Ham. It is believed there have been two accidents in the last year, and another fatal accident three years ago.

Councillor Dennis Doe, chairman of Royal Park neighbourhood committee, said parents and pupils were angry and upset and if they needed someone to blame they could blame him.

But he added: There was no reason to believe that we had to do anything dramatic there from looking at the history. We brought the speed limit down and put in a pedestrian crossing for the junior school with refuges in the middle of the road.

We cant re-write the past, but we can write the future. We are not sitting down waiting council officers are already looking into several options.

An inquest into Ektas death was opened and adjourned at Hounslow Coroners Court in Bagleys Lane, Fulham, last week. Her funeral is held today (Friday).

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