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Alfie Jones death: Grieving dad calls road safety steps 'a joke'

By Western Gazette - South Somerset  |  Posted: October 04, 2012

Nigel Jones pictured with family friend Morgan Jewell aged 11 and his son Adam Jones, aged eight, on the bridge in Huish Episcopi where Alfie Jones died

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Safety improvements on the road where a four-year-old boy died last year have been partially completed – but a grieving father has described the situation as “a joke”.

A new fence has been installed by the parish council to stop children taking a dangerous short cut onto Field Road in Huish Episcopi, where Alfie Jones was in collision with a bus last year.

However, promised improvements to Station Path, where Alfie ran out from, have not yet materialised.

Somerset County Council had said previously that work would begin in September but now it says it hopes work will take place this month.

But Alfie’s father, Nigel, said the situation was “a joke.”

He said: “There is no sign of the county council workers, only a few pegs.

“This has been going on so long it make me wonder if they really want to do it.

“I just think what they are doing is a complete cop out,” he added.

The work on station path was originally planned for April or May but there were issues with the land, which the council does not own.

After this was resolved the bird nesting season meant the work was rescheduled for the beginning of September, but it did not happen.

Mr Jones said: “I’ll never have closure and I’ll never forget what happened.

“I just want to avoid what happened to Alfie happening again.

“There are kids still running out from Station Path and there is nothing to stop them.

“It is not doing my health any good.”

He said that the parish council had done a good job on the fence but questioned why they had left a hole at one end “so big you could get a bus through it”.

Huish Episcopi Parish Council completed work to replace the fence on the Brookland Road side of the humpback bridge to prevent children using a short cut through a hedge that came out on the bridge where there is poor visibility for drivers.

Chairman of the parish council, Shirley Nicholas, said Councillor Frank Pope had done a good job organising the work but the council was still waiting for progress on Station Path.

County councillor Derek Yeomans said: “The plans are there but it hasn’t been started yet.

“I thought it was going to be done by September.”

A Somerset County Council spokesman commented: “Every scheme is important if it improves road safety.

“The county council’s improvement scheme for the A372 Field Road has been placed with our contractor, and it is hoped to begin construction work in October. The work involves the realignment of the current footpath and providing a two-metre wide asphalt path which will also enable the fixing of a pedestrian barrier where the footpath meets the road.”

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