WORK to provide a pedestrian crossing on Leeds Road for children at Ashlands School has been delayed because of a row over where to put it.

The Government's Highways Agency was due to begin work on installing the £30,000 crossing earlier this month but it has now been put back until the summer.

Parish Councillor Lexa Robinson, who had been one of the leading lights in the campaign for the pelican-style crossing, did not like the site where the Highways Agency has chosen - almost outside her front door - and wanted it moved.

But at a meeting at Ilkley Town Hall yesterday between parish councillors, school representatives, district councillors, crossing campaigners and Highway Agency officials, it was decided to stick to the original plan.

Before the meeting, Coun Robinson said the crossing should not be placed close to her home near Leamington Terrace, but should be moved further along nearer the school.

She said that other residents felt the same and that the safety of the children was paramount. If it was moved along they would not have to cross the busy Dean Street or negotiate the crossing near Leamington Terrace, which was also a danger.

Coun Robinson, who is the parish council chairman-elect, said that once Bradford's planned re-organisation from a three to a two-tier education system had taken place, Ashlands would be the biggest primary school in the town, providing even more reasons for a safe place to cross the road.

Coun Robinson's daughter-in-law, Sarah Robinson, who lives next door in Nordale Close, has formally objected to the crossing to the Highways Agency.

She told the Gazette: "We are not saying we do not want the crossing, we just don't want it on our doorstep. If it is for the children's benefit, surely it would be more appropriate to install it directly outside the school?

Before the meeting, crossing campaigner Rachel Spence, a mother-of-five from Bath Street, Ilkley, said she was angry that work to provide the crossing had been delayed.

Afterwards she said she was delighted at the decision and said the crossing would benefit the whole community, not just the schoolchildren.

She said that the Highways Agency could only provide crossings where there were pedestrian figures to prove a need. If it was forced to look at an alternative location on Leeds Road no crossing would be provided because the figures would not justify it.

Converted for the new archive on 30 June 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.