PARENTS want to see improvements to a crossing on a busy school-run route in Colchester.

They say the junction of Northern Approach Road and Mill Road must be made safer before it gets even busier with the opening of a new link road.

The Northern Approach Road is to be extended to link the town centre with a new park and ride centre at Cuckoo Farm.

The £9million extension is expected to open by the end of the year with the park and ride scheme starting at the end of 2013.

Button-activated crossings help pedestrians across the Northern Approach Road and Mill Road, but parents say the haven in the middle of the road is too small.

Some pedestrians also claim they are not being given enough time to cross.

Mill Road resident John Montgomery’s grandchildren walk that way to school.

He said: “It’s about time something was done.

“With the new road opening, it is going to get 100 times worse.”

Mum Trina Docherty said: “When you have people waiting at the central reservation, there is not enough room, especially with buggies and bicycles.”

Colchester Council leader Anne Turrell, who is also county councillor for Mile End and High Woods, and Martin Goss, borough councillor for Mile End, have been pressing for improvements.

Mrs Turrell said: “We need to ensure all our children are safe.

“While the county council is designing phase three of the Northern Approach Road, it must take the junction into consideration and improve it.”

The two councillors met an Essex County Council official at the junction yesterday to watch children crossing on their way to Myland Primary School and the Gilberd School.

Mr Goss said: “Pedestrian safety is one of our highest priorities in Mile End. It is about time the county council also made it a high priority to protect children and their families.”