New student proof fence to save lives
IT is perhaps the most important fence ever built in Ipswich, because it could well save a young life.
The new fence on the median strip on Warwick Rd outside Bremer State High will now prevent students from making the mad dash across four lanes for a sweet treat at the service station across the road.
The new fence, constructed by the Department of Main Roads after spirited lobbying by Ipswich MP Jennifer Howard, now means students walk down to the pedestrian crossing nearby and cross the busy thoroughfare safely.
Acting Principal Steve Henderson was a relived man about the new barrier.
"We have grown in numbers to over 1800 kids and this year in particular we have 360 Year Sevens," he said.
"So students are getting younger and younger.
"Having the service station across the road seems to be an attraction for a lot of them.
"They were coming in the mornings and leaving in the afternoons and wanting to take the short cut.
"We had some reports of near misses...so the fence has put an end to that."
Mr Henderson said he was impressed with the speed Ms Howard acted on the request for something to be done.
The Ipswich MP told the QT she took a call from Acting Deputy Principal Chris Owen last year to have a look at the situation.
"The kids in their quest for sugar were crossing the four-lane Warwick Rd, dodging cars to get to the service station rather than walking a few metres to the pedestrian crossing," Ms Howard said.
"It was unbelievably dangerous.
"I got back to my office and immediately emailed the Minister for Roads that we needed to do something.
"The Principal was reporting regularly that parents and motorists coming in the office almost in tears saying 'I just nearly hit one of your kids so you've got to do something about that road'."
Over the Christmas break the fence was built by the department.