Grandfather's hi-vis donation to keep children safe
“BE bright, be seen” was the message to children at a school after a doting grandfather made a special donation to help them during the closure of Ringley Bridge.
All 172 pupils at St Saviour Primary School have been given a miniature high-vis jacket to make them more visible to drivers on crowded approach roads to the bridge.
With dark nights drawing in, Stan Bibby, aged 69, from Stoneclough, has spent about £350 to ensure all children will have a fluorescent jacket.
School bosses are worried that Hulme Road, on the Bolton side of the bridge, gets very busy before and after each day.
Parents park and use the footbridge to collect their children.
Wearing their shiny new jackets, pupils at St Saviour’s were given a talk on road safety and the importance of high-vis by visiting road safety officers from Bolton Council.
Mr Bibby, an interested bystander to the talk with wife Anne, said: “We have three grandchildren here and were concerned about the kids’ safety while the bridge is shut.
“You get cyclists and motorbikes even that go straight across the footbridge without getting off.
“They need to be stopped, but one way to help is by the kids wearing these jackets and standing out.”
Mr Bibby, who is semi-retired but owns Bibby Logistics, a road haulage firm, was too modest to take credit.
“In my line of work, you’re falling over the jackets so it was nothing really,” he added.
The school has persuaded the council to build high fencing on each side of the footbridge, and a new lollipop lady is set to start work soon to make Hulme Road safer for children while coping with extra traffic.
St Saviour’s headteacher, Ian Southern, thanked Mr Bibby — whose grandchildren Sam, aged five, Gracie, aged eight, and Thomas Mort, aged 10, all attend the school — for his contribution.
“We’ve never had a parent or relative make a contribution like this and it’s fantastic as road safety is so crucial,” he added.
Janet Massey, who with colleague Susan Tinker led the council talk on road safety, dominated by her mantra “be bright, be seen”, said: “It’s a brilliant gesture from Mr Bibby.
“25 per cent of Bolton schools have some form of high-vis jackets and the only problem is making sure the kids wear them and don’t leave them at home.”
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