Delight over money for traffic problems outside Carlton Colville school - but campaigners warn: “It’s a small drop in the ocean for what we need”
- Credit: Nick Butcher
It has taken over a year of protests, campaigning and lobbying for action - but residents are today celebrating after finally securing £150,000 to help improve safety outside a school beset by traffic problems.
Yet despite their joy over a new 120-metre footpath and raised zebra crossing to help alleviate issues caused by the daily gridlock outside Carlton Colville Primary School, campaigners have warned the changes are still only a 'small drop in the ocean' - and have vowed to carry on fighting for more improvements.
Clare Robson and other residents started their fight for a solution to the congestion in Gisleham Road in November 2013, gathering more than 2,000 petition signatures.
However after a meeting between campaigners, councillors, Suffolk County Council officers and school headteacher Carol Childs on January 26, it has now been confirmed exceptional case funding will be given.
'We have recognised the difficulties that pupils and their parents face when it comes to safe access to the school,' said Graham Newman, the county council's cabinet member for roads, transport and planning.
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However while he said he was 'pleased we have been able to agree to the introduction of these two new schemes and we hope they will go some way to alleviate the traffic issues', he added: 'It is important that we continue working with the school and recognise the opportunity to promote alternatives to using a car for the entire journey to school, whenever and wherever possible.
'There is limited road access and capacity around the school and we would encourage parents to consider lift-sharing or using a drop off point away from the school. We will continue to explore how we can help those who park some distance away from the school and walk with their children.'
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Ms Robson, who has two children at the school, said the reality of daily life means working parents need to use their cars to take their children to school and go straight to work afterwards.
'We are not saying we are not pleased with what has been proposed,' she said.
'However what we made very clear at the meeting is that these are the first steps.
'There still hasn't been enough recognition of the fact that it's a small drop in the ocean for what we need.'
She said the main solution needed to focus on an appropriate place for parents to park to alleviate danger and congestion.
'I feel we're still burying our heads in the sand a little if we believe slightly better paths will cure the problem.'
County councillor Sonia Barker said she had 'campaigned vigorously since being elected in 2013 for a solution to the daily traffic chaos outside the Carlton Colville Primary School' and was pleased that the two proposals will go some way to alleviating the traffic congestion outside the school'.
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