A PRIMARY school headteacher has joined residents in claiming children and old people have been put at risk by the failure to repair a Canvey road crossing.

William Read Primary School head Jacqui Gosnold has raised concerns about faulty lights at a busy pedestrian crossing on the junction of Long Road and Craven Avenue.

The lights have been out of action since mid-December.

Youngsters at the school started a new term yesterday by taking their chances with traffic to get to class on time.

The Long Road school’s head said she had been frustrated to return in January and find the lights had still not been fixed.

She added: “It isn’t good enough. The problem began just before we broke up for the holidays and to come back and find it still hasn’t been resolved is not acceptable.

“The safety of our students is paramount and the children who use the breakfast club and after-school clubs don’t have the security of our school crossing patrol man. It has put them at risk.”

Christopher Robertson, 75, of Thisselt Road, has lived on Canvey since 1971, and says he has seen a several of his neighbours narrowly avoid being run down by cars in the three weeks the crossing has been out of action.

He added: “It’s an absolute disgrace this has not been resolved and it angers me the county council seems to have such a relaxed attitude to fixing it.

“I’ve seen elderly people unable to cross and they are put in the position where they have to make a dash for it, which is not good enough.”

An Essex County Council spokesman said: “We are aware that the signal controller at this pedestrian crossing has not been working since December 19.

“An engineer was sent to investigate and repairs were attempted.

“Unfortunately, these were unsuccessful and on Christmas Eve, it was established the signal controller needed to be replaced. Engineers will be fitting the replacement on Thursday.

“We apologise for the delay.

This was the next repair date available because of the holiday period.”