SCHOOLCHILDREN could be at risk if a crash barrier at an accident blackspot is not replaced, neighbours claim.

With the new term just days away, worried residents in Church End Lane, Wickford , are calling for a new barrier to be installed to protect youngsters from harm where the road meets Swan Lane at the mini roundabout.

Rita Allen, 70, claims the original one was “flattened” about two months ago and after the latest crash on Tuesday evening, she is concerned for the children who walk up the road from the Barnhall estate to Runwell Junior School, in Mount Road.

She said: “We keep on and on at highways because we are worried about the children, but I can just see there will be a fatality there before they will do anything.

“A lollipop lady sees them across the road and they have to walk past a barrier that’s not there. She doesn’t let them over until there’s a small group together so someone could take the whole lot out.”

Jean May, 69, lives next door to Mrs Allen and her garden is on the corner of Church End Lane.

She added: “I’ve been here when accidents have happened. It’s a bit worrying when children could be involved. I certainly would like them to put something more secure up there.”

An Essex County Council spokesman said: “Essex Highways is sympathetic to the local residents. We would like to assure them reinstatement of the barrier is programmed to take place in the next four to six weeks.”

An Essex Police spokeswoman confirmed there was an accident at about 9pm on Tuesday that involved two vehicles.

No-one was injured.