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Road nightmare may soon be over

PUBLISHED: 23:48 19 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:13 03 March 2010

TRAFFIC chaos which has blighted a Suffolk school could soon be a thing of the past.

Heath School in Bell Lane, Kesgrave, has been battling for years to try and ease traffic congestion while children are being picked up and dropped off.

TRAFFIC chaos which has blighted a Suffolk school could soon be a thing of the past.

Heath School in Bell Lane, Kesgrave, has been battling for years to try and ease traffic congestion while children are being picked up and dropped off.

With some parents double parking and children trying to cross the busy road, Bell Lane for part of each day can become a nightmare.

Now, thanks to being involved with the Safely to Schools project, a toucan crossing could soon be in place.

Staff at the school and community policeman Nick Day have welcomed the decision to install the crossing.

Pc Day said: "It will slow the traffic down and be more frustrating for motorists but from a safety point of view it will be much better."

Earlier this year the Evening Star highlighted the fears of residents that parents who doubled parked at peak times were just an accident waiting to happen.

Some even used to let their children jump from the car and weave between other vehicles to get to the safety of the pavement.

Teachers have long been concerned about the problems and this year got both children and parents involved with a huge campaign to make the journey to and from school safer and try to make people park further away.

Pupils looked at maps of possible safe routes to walk, expressing their concern and giving ideas as well as parents, nearby residents and engineers from Suffolk County Council getting involved.

The toucan crossing is just one of the things to come out of the scheme.

Another idea is to get parents to park on the community centre car park in Twelve Acre approach and get the children to form a crocodile to the school.

However volunteers are still being sought to look after the children.

Deputy head teacher Kyrsty Beattie said that the crossing will go a long way to help solve the problems.

She said: "It can be very hairy out there with children coming and going from school.

"Children are looking for their parents rather than thinking of road safety.

"Anything would be an improvement."

Denise Boon is school crossing patrol attendant and said she has had several near misses with irate motorists.

She said: "I have some people try and squeeze through when I have been standing on the road and letting the children across.

"Others have asked me how long I am going to make them wait but I just tell them 'for as long as it takes to get the children across safely.'

"A crossing is a good idea."

But the problem still remains that parents are parking near to the school and particularly in Edmonton Road.

This is something that Pc Nick Day is extremely concerned about.

He said: "People park right along the street making it difficult for other cars to come along the other way.

"It is almost turning it into a one way street and that is not good."

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