HIGHWAY chiefs are taking action to safeguard hundreds of children who walk to and from three schools in the New Forest.

Hampshire County Council has introduced a 20mph speed limit and is also looking at the possibility of appointing another school crossing warden.

It follows a year-long campaign by parents and councillors in part of Dibden Purlieu.

Families have called for four yellow bollards at Challenger Way to be replaced by a “proper” crossing that would force drivers to stop.

The current facility is only a few hundred yards from Orchard infant and junior schools and neighbouring Noadswood School.

Speaking at the launch of the campaign Darren Bowen said: “We’ve sent letters and petitions to the county council.

“Only the other day a boy from one of the schools was knocked down by a car and taken to hospital.”

Mum Katie Bezer added: “It’s terrifying watching children try to get across the road. I’ve got two kids myself and there’s no way I would let them cross on their own.”

Other protesters said it was “only a matter of luck” that no-one had been killed or seriously injured.

Yesterday a county council spokesman said: “We are undertaking further investigations into the most appropriate measures at this site to help children crossing the road. We have recently introduced an advisory 20mph speed limit, and are looking into the possibility of introducing a further crossing patrol officer.”

The moves were welcomed by Cllr Malcolm Wade, who represents Hythe and Dibden.

He said: “The council has responded positively to the campaign by myself and parents by recognising the need for extra safety measures.”