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Safety package is tragic boy’s legacy
8:00am Wednesday 12th September 2012 in News
SAFER journeys to and from school will be the legacy of tragic youngster Joseph Ball, a senior councillor has vowed.
Tony Cox, the Tory responsible for transport at Southend Council, said a package of measures designed to help youngsters cross Westcliff ’s London Road was the best way to remember the six-year-old.
Joseph, a pupil at nearby Milton Hall Primary School, was killed when he was hit by an unlicensed, speeding biker as he crossed London Road last October.
Mr Cox emphasised no safety measures could have saved Joseph, but said he was pleased with the plans to improve signs in the area and hold special road safety classes with Milton Hall pupils.
He said: “I hope this does give some sense of closure to Joseph’s family, who have, of course, suffered terribly.
“I also hope these measures will be the real legacy of Joseph Ball in years to come.”
After Joseph’s death, more than 10,000 people signed a petition, calling for a crossing at the spot where he was hit. The council promised a full investigation into possible extra safety measures.
That process ended last week, when council leaders backed a recommendation by members of the environmental and economic scrutiny committee to reject a crossing.
Highways officials had warned a new crossing could lead to more accidents – a view accepted by the committee’s members.
Instead, the council will put up better signs to highlight existing crossing points and warn drivers about the possibility of children walking across the road.
Mr Cox said: “I must praise the way this whole issue has been handled, both by the officers and the committee.
“It showed Southend Council at its absolute best.
“Often we can descend into political point-scoring, but on this occasion we came together as a council to make the best decision possible.”