Work has begun to improve links to an Andover school ‘for children’s safety’ on their way to classes.

The footpath outside Vigo Primary School is being widened as part of plans to encourage families to walk to school, rather than be dropped off outside. Meanwhile, a new crossing is being installed, while “very uneven” paving slabs are being replaced with a smoother tarmac alternative.

Councillor Iris Andersen, who had campaigned for the changes, said that it showed what could be achieved when different bodies work together.

She told the Advertiser: “I am so excited about this. This is what we get when we work together to achieve something for everyone. The travel planner worked really hard, the county council worked hard, and we worked hard so this shows what can be done. I want to thank them all for their help.

“I was really pleased by this for the safety of the children. This is just what was needed to happen, and we’ve been waiting for some time.”

As previously reported, residents of Vigo Road had been concerned over the impact of school traffic, which had seen cars parked on verges and over footpaths during the morning drop-off period.

Speaking to the Advertiser last year, 55-year-old resident Chris described the situation as “a bit of a nightmare.”

“You take your life in your hands,” he said. “It’s mayhem here.”

Now, following co-operation between the school, local councillors, Test Valley Borough Council and Hampshire County Council, developer contributions are being used to improve access to the school for pedestrians. It is hoped this will contribute to alleviating some of the parking issues.

Councillor Rob Humby, deputy leader of Hampshire County Council and executive lead member for economy, transport and environment, said: “Developers Taylor Wimpey have started work on footway and cycleway improvements in Vigo Road as part of planning obligations for the East Anton housing estate. Hampshire County Council will be delivering a small scheme in the area to improve visibility at the uncontrolled crossing point outside the school.”

The works accompany a scheme to encourage more walking to the school by the county council, with travel plan advisor Sarah Lees developing a ‘Walk and Stride’ plan which detail the different parking areas, such as Vigo Recreation Ground, where families can park within walking distance of the school.