Children ‘lucky’ to escape fatal crashes outside St Helen’s Primary School in Woodbridge Road, Ipswich
- Credit: Gregg Brown
At least two parents have been involved in collisions near St Helen’s Primary School in Woodbridge Road in the last year, headteacher Kate Hodgetts said. A 20mph zone will now be put in place along a section of the road.
Parents are scared of crossing the traffic lights outside the school, near the Argyle Street junction, due to regular near-misses involving cars which “fly up” the road and jump the red light, said parent Emma Revell, who has two children who attend the school.
After an eight-month battle, a section of Woodbridge Road will be now reduced from 30mph to 20mph outside the school, which is located between Argyle Street and Lacey Street near the town centre.
Mrs Hodgetts said: “We needed to make sure our children are safe coming to school and we have seen the way some people drive outside.
“The main issue is jumping the red light, which has caused two injuries on the road that we know of. Our children use the crossings appropriately, but we are very lucky that we haven’t had more incidents.
“Motorists don’t notice there is a school here. There is a dip in the road and we are tucked away. We need these warning signs up and I hope motorists take note.”
More than 1,000 people signed a petition last summer. Suffolk County Council initially refused the 20mph zone request but approved it at a second hearing after exceptional circumstances were argued successfully.
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“It should have been done a long time ago – parents are scared and some don’t even use Woodbridge Road anymore,” said Mrs Revell.
“Cars fly up Woodbridge Road, and some also jump the red light. There are loads of near-misses. There was one (on Wednesday). It is scary. You have to really make sure cars stop. Some just don’t care that they are putting other people’s lives at risk.
“I hope they take notice (of the 20mph zone), but how will it be policed?”
Mum-of-three Emma Driver, who launched the petition, said: “I had lost count of the number of near-misses that I saw along this stretch of road near the school.
“It really was just a matter of time before there was a serious accident.”
The area which will be covered by the 20mph zone, and when work will start and finish, has not been confirmed yet.