Eastbourne dad celebrates new school crossing after long campaign

Matt Zalman at the traffic lights that he campaigned for outside St Thomas a Becket School in Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby)
Matt Zalman at the traffic lights that he campaigned for outside St Thomas a Becket School in Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby)

A father who has been campaigning for a safe crossing outside an Eastbourne school is delighted it has finally happened.

For years Matthew Zalman has been lobbying the county council for a traffic light crossing outside St Thomas A Becket, where his daughter Alisha went to school.

Now, after weeks of roadworks in Kings Drive, a button-activated crossing has been unveiled.

Mr Zalman, 33, said, “It’s been brilliant, I think it’s working wonderful and as far as I have heard there’s been no problems.

“Quite a while I’ve been trying to push for these traffic lights, and all of a sudden they have gone ahead with it.”

The dad had been calling for a safe crossing since 2014. There was a zebra crossing but Mr Zalman argued many vehicles failed to stop, endangering the lives of children and other pedestrians.

“It was a long campaign. A woman got injured. I kept complaining to the council about it, saying ‘this isn’t on’,” he said, “I said to them, what are you waiting for? For a child to be killed?”

Now Mr Zalman’s daughter goes to a senior school elsewhere in Eastbourne, but Mr Zalman is happy the road will be more safe for current and future pupils.

He said, “Before cars were not taking notice of it and going through the crossing without stopping. But now you press the button and they stop for it.

“Effectively the traffic lights are slowing the traffic now. But I will continue campaigning for a 20mph limit there at peak school times.”

Referring to complaints about the extensive roadworks to build the crossing, he said, “If you want to achieve something, you need time to construct it. The delays were temporary, drivers were frustrated but child safety is important and it comes first.”

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