Road rage victim starts war on traffic

A FELIXSTOWE father is today waging a one-man war to stop dangerous driving and parking outside his children's schools.Stuart Long has already been hit by one car pulling onto the pavement to park, and his six-year-old daughter Eleanor was involved in a near miss.

By Richard Cornwell

A FELIXSTOWE father is today waging a one-man war to stop dangerous driving and parking outside his children's schools.

Stuart Long has already been hit by one car pulling onto the pavement to park, and his six-year-old daughter Eleanor was involved in a near miss.

He fears it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured – and is demanding action to improve safety and stop motorists parking near Maidstone Infants School.


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"The way people are parking outside the school is just outrageous and very dangerous – they are parking two abreast at times, and others are pulling off the road onto the pavement," said Mr Long.

"There is no room for people with prams and pushchairs to get past and sometimes they have to go out into the road.

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"You take your life in your hands.

"I was walking on the path when I was hit by a car which pulled up on the pavement and struck my leg. Luckily I was not seriously injured.

"I asked the car driver what they thought they were doing and instead of an apology, I got a mouthful of abuse."

Mr Long, who lives with his wife Susan in Grange Road, said the road outside the infants school is narrow, but parents are parking as close to the school as they can and even backing up onto the nearby hump-backed railway bridge.

Many were parking on yellow lines but these are not all in place properly because of roadworks which have been carried out previously, and Felixstowe police are currently not issuing parking tickets because lines and signs are not adequate at many places in the town.

The situation is compounded because there are three schools in a row with Orwell High – where Mr and Mrs Long's son Alex, 13, attends – and Causton Junior next door and many parents bringing children to school by car.

"It really is time something was done before there is a serious accident. Why do so many people drive their children to school – why don't they walk? Some of them don't live very far away at all," said Mr Long.

Ann Montagu , deputy head at Maidstone Infants, said parking outside the school was a major problem and parents were often reminded in the newsletters to park away from the area.

"We have a policy of encouraging parents to walk to school with their children and we do not have any parking at the school," she said.

"It is a safety issue and parking outside the school can be very dangerous for other parents and their children and other cars, but parents continue to try to park as close to the school as they can."

The county council is considering 20mph zones outside the school, and also has projects to encourage walking and improve safety around schools.

n How can parents with cars be stopped from driving short distances to school? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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