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‘Atrocious’ - anger as Ipswich footpath turned into muddy mess by increased traffic

PUBLISHED: 07:00 06 October 2020 | UPDATED: 16:09 06 October 2020

Residents in the Wilson Road area of Pinewood are concerned about the recent use of a public footpath by traffic from The Bridge School. Picture: PINEWOOD PARISH COUNCIL

Residents in the Wilson Road area of Pinewood are concerned about the recent use of a public footpath by traffic from The Bridge School. Picture: PINEWOOD PARISH COUNCIL

Archant

A footpath used as an access road to Ipswich’s Bridge School has been turned into a muddy mess - after building work caused an increase in traffic.

There were initially signs saying the footpath was closed, however walkers have now been told they can use it. Picture: PINEWOOD PARISH COUNCILThere were initially signs saying the footpath was closed, however walkers have now been told they can use it. Picture: PINEWOOD PARISH COUNCIL

Foopath 6, in Pinewood, was barely used by cars - except occasionally vehicles needing to access the Bridge School’s maintenance gates.

The walkway, which runs between Sprites Lane and Wilson Road, has instead been a vital cut-through for neighbours.

However the building work at the Bridge School means more than 30 car and buses twice a day are now using the road, meaning its muddy surface has worsened.

Vice-chairwoman of the parish council, Beryl Calver, said her quarrell was not with the school - which has said it sympathises with residents - but with the level of information from Suffolk County Council.

The Bridge School has always had access to the footpath by a set of maintenance gates. Picture: PINEWOOD PARISH COUNCILThe Bridge School has always had access to the footpath by a set of maintenance gates. Picture: PINEWOOD PARISH COUNCIL

“My main concern is the practical consequences of this and the impact on residents who live right off the footpath,” Mrs Calver said.

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“The cars go past very close to some of their houses and the traffic has increased a great deal.”

A spokeswoman for Suffolk Highways said: “Suffolk County Council is working with Concertus, who are managing the school building works, and the community to minimise disruption.

Parish council vice-chairwoman Beryl Calver is disappointed in the communication from Suffolk County Council over the issue. Picture: PINEWOOD PARISH COUNCILParish council vice-chairwoman Beryl Calver is disappointed in the communication from Suffolk County Council over the issue. Picture: PINEWOOD PARISH COUNCIL

“The concerns raised are being reviewed with the team on site.”

Lorraine Wright lives near the footpath and thinks it is no longer safe to use after the increase in school traffic.

She said: “I and many others use it as a cut through to the Co-op. One lady I know goes down on her mobility scooter and she can’t do that any more.”

Robert Manning is another parish councillor concerned about the use and said: “There was no consultation before this happened and previously there had been minimal traffic use – the present state of the path is atrocious.”

Hazel Simmons, headteacher at The Bridge School, said: “I utterly sympathise with the residents and nobody could want this to be over more than us.

“It is only for 40 minutes in the morning and afternoon and we do have to put staff on traffic control too.”


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