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Pensioner Sue Robertson shields youngsters from cars in busy Vinters Road in Maidstone near Glenhurst mental health centre

By Rachael Woods

Armed only with her trusty pink jumper, pensioner Sue Robertson is the human shield.

The feisty 67-year-old has taken to standing in the road for an hour each morning and evening to protect children from passing vehicles after parked cars blocked a walkway in Maidstone.

Ms Robertson acted after seeing streams of youngsters from three schools in busy Vinters Road forced to make a dangerous diversion into the highway when the footpath become impassable.

Sue Robertson escorts children after drivers blocked the footpath
Sue Robertson escorts children after drivers blocked the footpath

The area of concern, near East Borough, Invicta and Valley Park, is outside Glenhurst, a private mental health centre.

Ms Robertson, who lives in nearby Cutbush and Corrall Court, said: “I was so worried about the safety of the children that I couldn’t just stand there and watch them going so close to the traffic.

“I now go into the road and try to shield them from the cars. I don’t have a hi-vis jacket, but I wear bright clothes so I can be seen.”

She has been on daily patrol for two weeks and believes that Vinters Road needs a crossing to improve safety.

Mum Charlotte Chapman, who escorts her nine-year-old daughter to and from East Borough every day, said: “It is a really dangerous situation as there is no safe walkway.”

The 30-year-old suffers from chronic neurological pain and moves with the aid of a stick.

Sue Robertson and Charlotte Chapman
Sue Robertson and Charlotte Chapman
The youngsters are shielded against traffic on the busy road
The youngsters are shielded against traffic on the busy road

But she pledged to always accompany her daughter to school because of the situation.

Maidstone council says the area of path in question belongs to owners, the Glen Care Group.

A company spokesman said: “Although the hospital management has not received any complaints about this matter it has been liaising with staff to resolve the parking situation.

“We understand the concerns raised and will continue to work hard to reach a satisfactory and safe outcome.”

A council spokesman added while the land looks like a pavement, it is designated as private land and vehicles can legally park on it as long as they do not obstruct the road.

“We have approached the care home and asked it to remind its staff to park considerately,” he added.

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