Years of campaigning for an extra road crossing to be used by at least 100 school children a day has finally been answered by a Napier City Council committee which yesterday approved the new safety measure in suburban Maraenui.
But it comes with mixed blessings, the "kea" school patrol crossing on Geddis Ave getting the green light at the same time as the council removes a permanent "zebra" pedestrian crossing a few metres away in Bledisloe Rd.
Long-time Maraenui Bilingual School principal Jim Pearcey was pleased when told of the new crossing, at which motorists will be required to stop when pupils on patrol with badges and special vests extend signs provided for the job of helping their schoolmates get to and from school safely.
But he said he'd like to keep fighting for the zebra crossing, the removal of which appeared to be based on a low pedestrian count.
If anything, he said, Bledisloe Rd also warrants speed humps to help slow motorists down in an area with so many children, particularly between the school and the nearby Maraenui Shopping Centre.
"Ninety per cent of the drivers are very good," he said, but added there were others whose driving needs to be better controlled and monitored to protect the younger pedestrians.
Active flashing school zone signs are to be installed in the area to further highlight the need for caution.