Children at a Newtown primary school can now safely enter and leave thanks to a new gate installed for free by a local building firm.

Philip Jones Builders responded to Maesyrhandir CP School's plea for help about concerns surrounding safety at drop-off and pick-up times which the acting headteacher described as "scary" and a "huge worry" with children not used to the increase in traffic near the development of a new school and housing estate.

Nick Trigg, from Philip Jones Builders, said: "Something had to be done and very quickly. 

"With no gates there the kids just ran out into the road, and I would imagine at 9am and 3pm it was pretty hazardous. Installing the gate is obviously going to help these guys.

County Times: Maesyrhandir CP School pupils Khalil, Ioan, Olivia, Sophie and Felicity with Nick Trigg and Caroline Bufton.Maesyrhandir CP School pupils Khalil, Ioan, Olivia, Sophie and Felicity with Nick Trigg and Caroline Bufton. (Image: Anwen Parry/Powys County Times)

"It cost around £300 to £400 which is nothing but huge to the school with budgets being cut all of the time."

Last year pupils raised concerns with the town council that they had "no safe way to get to school" and are having to walk in the road because the pavements are blocked by parked cars and vans.

School governors reported that a pupil was almost run over by a lorry and another who was riding a bike was nearly hit by a brick after it fell off another heavy goods vehicle.


After a long wait, the school finally had a traffic patrol officer join in September this year which acting headteacher Caroline Bufton said has made a positive difference.

"Our family liaison officer Sophie and I stand on the gate every morning and it was scary watching how unsafe that entrance was before,” she said.

"Philip Jones Builders were fantastic and really quick and made it a lot safer for us. Children’s safety is really important, and they've responded in a timely way to make our school site a lot safer than it was before. We really do appreciate it. We’re incredibly grateful.

"The fact that it didn’t have to come out of our ever-decreasing budget school was huge for us.

"I do believe there will be more safety measures once Ysgol Cedewain is opened. It’s improving but it’s still not perfect just yet."