Kids must cross busy road to reach new playground

Dad Grant Cunningham has fears over children having to cross  busy Broughton Road. Picture: Scott Taylor
Dad Grant Cunningham has fears over children having to cross busy Broughton Road. Picture: Scott Taylor
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CHILDREN face crossing one of the Capital’s most congested roads to reach their playground under plans to create desperately needed outdoor space at an overcrowded primary.

Education bosses want to use a bowling green as an off-site play area for youngsters at Broughton Primary, which is undergoing emergency ­expansion amid an ongoing boom in school rolls.

They hope the facility will make up for the loss of space caused by a “playground -chomping” classroom construction project at the under-pressure school.

But the plan means youngsters will have to cross the busy Broughton Road to get to the new area, a prospect which has alarmed some parents.

Dad Grant Cunningham, 38, whose child is in P6, said: “Yes, it’s maybe a solution to the space issue but how many children will be able to go over there – what will be the criteria for adults taking them across the road?”

Moves to create the extra space come as crowded schools across the city consider a range of radical solutions to the ­challenge of providing new classrooms while protecting play opportunities.

Earlier this month, we revealed staff and parents at cramped Flora Stevenson ­Primary were mulling plans for a playground on top of a new teaching block.

And at schools such as Victoria Primary, teachers said they were working hard to 
hold events despite losing space to scaffolding and building work.

“What I am looking for is an admission that they got it wrong on school closures during the last administration and that the kids are suffering,” said Mr Cunningham, previously parent council chair at the now defunct Royston Primary.

At Bruntsfield Primary, one of Edinburgh’s most crowded schools, parents have drafted in top UK design expert Michael Follett, who is creating a cutting-edge new play space as part of a £105,000 revamp.

Education leaders said they were constantly exploring “innovative solutions” for ­dealing with space pressures, adding that they were “fully aware” of all safety issues.

Councillor Paul Godzik, education leader, said: “Securing the bowling greens for Broughton Primary School is another good example of making the best use of existing council resources and is in response to a request from the school community. Many schools use locations outwith their grounds for these type of activities.”