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Headteacher's safety fears after Gravesend schoolgirl hit by bus
THE HEAD of a Gravesend school yards from where a 12-year-old girl was hit by a car and dragged under a bus this morning is calling for urgent action to slash the volume of traffic.
Emergency services were called to Rochester Road to rescue the schoolgirl who was seriously injured after being hit by a car and then knocked into the path of a bus while crossing the road.
Firefighters freed St John’s Catholic Comprehensive School pupil Jade Phillips who was trapped by the front wheel of the Arriva 480 bus.
She suffered a fractured skull and a broken collarbone and was taken by land ambulance to King's College Hospital.
John Stanley, headteacher of St John’s Catholic Comprehensive, says that stretch of Rochester Road has been an ongoing problem during the busy school run.
He told News Shopper: “I’ve only been here nine years but there’s always been a concern with the amount of traffic on the road.
“I know other people who have been here longer say it’s been dangerous for as long as they can remember.”
The section of Rochester Road, between the junctions with Forge Lane and Church Walk is home to a large primary school and two secondary schools with a total of just under 3,000 pupils.
Mr Stanley says the headteachers at St John’s Catholic Primary and Gravesend Grammar are also concerned for the safety for parents and children on that road due to the sheer volume of people during the school run.
Meanwhile, he has also spoken to Gravesham MP Adam Holloway who also has “grave concerns” about the stretch of road which has seen a number of crashes involving school pupils in the past few years.
He said: “It appears this morning’s accident was not caused by the speed of traffic.
"There may have been others in the past, this was more to do with volume.
“It’s nothing new, it’s rather one incident after another.
"I would welcome the opportunity to sit down with the people responsible for transport to see what can be done at certain parts of the day.”
Prayers have been said at the school today and Mr Stanley said: “Our concerns are with young Jade and her family.
"She is in the best place possible at the minute. The fire services, the police, the paramedics, and members of the public who helped out were brilliant.”