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School to tackle parking problem

PUBLISHED: 21:06 09 October 2001 | UPDATED: 15:18 03 March 2010

A SCHOOL that has become a notorious blackspot at peak times is launching a project to try and ease the problems.

For a number of years staff at Heath Primary School in Bell Lane, Kesgrave, have been battling against the ongoing problems of parents blocking the road as they drop off and pick up their children.

A SCHOOL that has become a notorious blackspot at peak times is launching a project to try and ease the problems.

For a number of years staff at Heath Primary School in Bell Lane, Kesgrave, have been battling against the ongoing problems of parents blocking the road as they drop off and pick up their children.

Earlier this year the Evening Star highlighted the fears of residents living near to the school, that double parking and the blocking of roads off Bell Lane was just an accident waiting to happen.

Some people even said that they had to timetable their days so they did not get caught up in the school run traffic.

Now parents and residents are being invited to take part in a Safely to Schools consultation.

It is designed to encourage children to walk to school but also gives mums and dads the chance to voice their fears about potential problems as well as giving ideas for routes.

Pupils at the school have been involved in making a model of the road system around Kesgrave on large polystyrene tiles so parents can then pin their opinions onto the board.

Engineers from Suffolk County Council will also be at the consultation looking for responses for ideas on physical changes to the road scheme such as a pedestrian refuge or pelican crossing.

Mike Motteram, County Road Safety Officer, said that Heath Road was one of 50 schools over the county to take part in the project within the last three years.

He said that a recent survey from teachers found that children who walked to school were far more alert and ready to start the day, than those who had arrived in the car.

But Heath School head teacher Anna Roberts realises that walking to school or even parking further down the road away from the premises is not always practical for every family

She said: "For one reason or another some parents do not have the time to arrive at the school early enough and want to drop off and pick up their children in the minimum time.

"I am a mum too and have been half way to school when you have to turn round and get something that the children have forgotten.

"There does not seem to be an easy solution to this but I think we have to do something.

"The residents around here have been very tolerant of us over the years."

Mrs Roberts had said that the school was looking at the possibility of a walking bus from the Kesgrave Community Centre (with the owner's permission).

This would mean that parents could park in the car park and their children would walk the remaining distance with their friends accompanied by an adult.

Mrs Roberts said: "This is an ongoing problem so we thought we would give the project a go. Even if we can just come up with one thing to make it better."

The Safely to School's consultation is being held at the school on October 17, between 3pm and 6pm.

A meeting specifically about the walking bus will be held at 4pm.

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