New safety features are to be installed on streets around Castlecliff schools.

40km/h School Zone signs have arrived in Whanganui, and will be installed on Polson St, Cornfoot St and Cross St.

The move follows meetings between a group of board of trustees members led by Castlecliff School's Kathleen Vicelich and Whanganui District Council senior roading engineer Rui Leitao.

The group had been regularly meeting the council about safety, and then Keanu Josephs-Ranginui died after a car crash on Polson St.


The 13-year-old was the passenger in a stolen vehicle that was speeding and he died from injuries sustained when the driver lost control and the car hit a tree.

Aranui School principal Maryann Roberts said the school would benefit from the additional signage.

April Jenkins says moving a bus stop along on Cornfoot St would open up space for about 10 cars to park outside Marie McFarland Kindergarten. Photo / Jesse King
April Jenkins says moving a bus stop along on Cornfoot St would open up space for about 10 cars to park outside Marie McFarland Kindergarten. Photo / Jesse King

"We mainly pushed for better signage for our crossing to make people aware, because we're tucked away from the main drag and traffic doesn't necessarily know we're there.

"Our children actually go out onto Cornfoot and are walking along it go home, which is a particular concern because people just do not slow down, they hoof it down there."

With the installation of signs confirmed, the council is reviewing data collected during a survey of traffic numbers and speed.

Once the data has been reviewed, the council will meet the Castlecliff group again to assess effective and practical follow-up options.

The signs wouldn't only help Aranui School students, Roberts said.

"There is a school bus stop situated on both sides of our crossing, so it would cater for the intermediate and secondary school children that are coming into the area as well.

"Children are unpredictable. Even though we operate a crossing, if Mum or Dad come to pick them up and pull up on the other side of the road, they could make that dash."

Aranui School operates a Kiwi crossing, their students are trained for road control and an adult accompanies them every morning, but they have still reported speeding drivers to police.

"The death really compounded the issues and highlighted them really strongly," Roberts said.

"Polson St is quite a thoroughfare and they have probably experienced a few more issues than we might have."

April Jenkins is the head teacher at Marie McFarland Kindergarten on Cornfoot St and said her focus was Polson St.

"I felt that all of this was more for Castlecliff School than the rest of us and I'm not saying that as a negative thing," Jenkins said.

"They have had a lot of trouble."

The council will move the bus stop outside Marie McFarland slightly east, which will enable parents to drop their children off closer to the entrance.

"I didn't push for the bus stop to be shifted, but I did say that if it wasn't there, you could probably fit about 10 cars along the kindergarten on Cornfoot St," Jenkins said.

"We're grateful for what we've got."

Jenkins has been at the kindergarten since 2008 and there had been no major incidents in her time there.

However, she said it was a common occurrence for traffic to speed down the street.

"Police cars and everything fly through here, Cornfoot is a very busy street.

"We used to have a strong presence of speed cameras, but they haven't been very prevalent around Whanganui recently."

Roberts and Jenkins praised the group of board members and the community for bringing the action about.

The Chronicle contacted Castlecliff School's Kathleen Vicelich, who said "community schools are working closely with the council on road safety and are happy with our current situation moving forward," but declined further comment.