Apology for festival traffic from school

WOODBRIDGE School has apologised for the traffic disruption caused when nearly 300 coaches brought in more than 14,000 children for a major conservation festival.

WOODBRIDGE School has apologised for the traffic disruption caused when nearly 300 coaches brought in more than 14,000 children for a major conservation festival.

The school hosted the ConScience Festival during which primary schoolchildren from Suffolk, North Essex and South Norfolk attended during a three-day period.

The patron was the naturalist David Bellamy and some of the school's buildings were transformed into environments from different parts of the world.

The event was the biggest staged at Woodbridge School for many years and led to congestion in the residential area of Grundisburgh Road, Hasketon Road, Moorfield Road and Burkitt Road.


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Traffic problems were particularly bad on Wednesday afternoon when there were 14 coaches parked on Grundisburgh Road and five coaches parked or trying to manoeuvre outside Moorfield Road. A motorist was told she could not reach her home in Moorfield Road and to try later, and at one point Burkitt Road was blocked by two stationary coaches taking up both lanes.

The school held a meeting with police officers yesterday morning to try to stop a recurrence of the problems. John Curtin, the school's strategic business manager, said 288 coaches were used.

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''We tried so hard to tell them what time to arrive. But it was psychological, they just do not take any notice and the problem was that they came early.

''It was sad, but at the same time we had done all in our power. On a positive note, the children had a wonderful time and the difficulty with the transport was something that overtook us,'' said Mr Curtin.

He said he had tried to use public transport but Anglia Railways had been unable to put on extra carriages on the Ipswich to Lowestoft line.

Trevor Brundle, Woodbridge police sector commander, said: ''It was a very large event at Woodbridge School and we had plenty of prior notice and there was an awful lot of planning. To some extent those plans depended on coaches arriving and departing at designated times.

''What happened was that a lot of the coaches arrived early to take the children back. We can not control all the coach firms and as soon as we realised there was a problem we despatched three or four officers to try and control the situation.

''There was some disruption for short periods of time to local people but there was a lot of benefit for the children.''

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