SAFETY-conscious youngsters have launched a petition to try to get a crossing installed outside their school.

Pals Tillie Duguid, 11, and Lily Brotherton, 12, have already been backed by more than 1,000 people in their campaign for a zebra crossing at Paxman Academy in Shrub End, Colchester.

The pair are part of the first cohort of pupils to attend the school but are worried about the lack of safe access.

They are asking for improvements in Paxman Avenue and Walnut Tree Way after witnessing a number of near misses.

Their efforts have been supported by headteacher Carol Moffat and they have also discussed the petition with Colchester MP Will Quince.

Tillie’s mum Gemma said the girls had come up with the idea.

“There is nothing there when it comes to road safety,” she said.

“There are not speed restrictions, no speed bumps and no form of crossing.

“On top of that, there is nowhere dedicated where parents can drop off their children safely.

“Obviously, at the moment, there are only students from Year 7 there.

“It is only going to get busier.

“There might be plans in the pipeline but you don’t want something terrible to happen before anything is done.”

Gemma said it showed there was a real problem if the two youngsters were raising it.

“We are very proud of them,” she said.

“It shows how grown up they are for even suggesting something like this.

“But when even children as young as they are notice something is unsafe then it suggests there is a problem.”

An Essex Highways spokesman said: “County councillor Dave Harris has already submitted a scheme request to the Colchester Local Highway Panel asking for these pedestrian crossings.

“The panel has commissioned traffic/pedestrian surveys on the roads in April which will then inform decision-making.”

To sign the petition visit