A CHILDMINDER has revealed how she and four of her young charges were almost struck by a van which sped through a red light as they were crossing the road on their way to school.

Laura Bishop was so shocked by the incident that she launched a campaign for the crossing on Avenue Road, Port Seton, to be improved – and discovered that there had been numerous near-misses at the same spot.

The incident, which happened on December 12 as Laura was heading to Cockenzie Primary School, left her badly shaken.

She told the Courier: “I had four children with me and stopped in the middle of the road because I was aware the van was approaching at speed and showing no sign of slowing down.

“Had I not stopped with the children there could have been several fatalities.

“Children use this crossing without parents every day and trust the green man when it cannot be trusted at this crossing. Children have the right to trust the green man and to get to and from school safely – this is not the case at this crossing.”

Laura launched Avenue Road Pelican Crossing Action Group on Facebook following the incident and it now has nearly 100 members.

Nearly 300 questionnaires have been distributed to people living locally who might use the crossing to gauge their experiences and views.

Laura said that the group had received 85 responses so far, with 76 agreeing that a crossing patrol person needed to be based at the lights and 81 voicing concerns that signs indicating the speed limit had not yet been moved to the start of the 30mph zone.

East Lothian Council has now agreed to take action on the issues.

Laura and other members of the group attended a meeting of Cockenzie and Port Seton Community Council last Tuesday to ask for its support. They said that the sign alerting drivers they were approaching a crossing was so faded it was barely visible.

Parent Gary Donaldson, whose two-year-old daughter Kenzie was with Laura when the van went through the red light, said the school crossing sign was also not facing the road and one of the traffic light posts was at an angle.

A resident of the new housing The Chimneys, which was completed last year, told the community council that, while the speed limit had been reduced to 30mph from the roundabout as traffic enters Port Seton, on Avenue Road the signs alerting drivers to the change had still not been moved so people were speeding past the entrance to the new housing.

He said: “I regularly see lorries going past at 50mph. My wife has had two near-misses on the crossing while with my young children because people do not stop. There needs to be something put in place to slow traffic down.”

The action group is calling for 20mph flashing signs to be put in place during school times, a crossing patrol person to be stationed at the lights and speed ramps to be considered.

East Lothian Council said it met with the group on Monday and would be reviewing traffic signage and replacing old signs, moving the 30mph signs to the correct location, installing a socket to allow speed reactive signs to be used at the site and adjusting the green man l