CHILDREN and parents at a Rayleigh school are celebrating after work started on a new zebra crossing following a 15-year campaign.

Yesterday morning, work began in Little Wheatley Chase to install a zebra crossing to boost the safety of pupils attending Our Lady of Ransom Primary School.

It follows a major campaign from parents and the school for a new safe crossing to be installed after major concerns were raised about cars “speeding past the school”.

Headteacher Paul Parascandolo said: “The children at Our Lady of Ransom Catholic Primary School returned to school on Monday, excited to see that work has begun to install a new zebra crossing outside the school.

“Members of the school and local community have been campaigning for a crossing to be installed on Little Wheatley Chase for many years - longer than any of our current children have been alive.

“We are all so pleased that the children’s route to and from school will be made safer in the future.

“William and Grace, head boy and head girl, cross this busy road every day and can’t wait to be able to use the new crossing.”

Works are due to be completed by March 1, according to Essex Highway.

June Lumley, Essex county councillor for Rayleigh South Division and Rayleigh Town councillor for Grange Ward, said: “I have been working to achieve a crossing in Little Wheatley Chase outside Our Lady of Ransom Primary School since I became an Essex County councillor in 2017.

“This was definitely needed for the best safety of the children and to address their parents’ concerns on journeys to and from school.

“I am absolutely delighted that this is now being delivered as it will make such a difference to all of the residents who walk to the Grange Community Centre who will now have a safe place to cross this very busy road which is also a regular bus route.”

A spokesperson for Essex Highways, part of Essex County Council, added: “The Rochford Local Highways panel has commissioned the works to build the new zebra crossing close to the school on Little Wheatley Chase in order to improve safety in the area.

“The works started on February 19 and are due to finish on March 1.”