RESIDENTS have raised concerns that a planned school expansion will create extra traffic in an already ‘severely congested’ main road.
Objections have been sent to Suffolk County Council which wants to build a new teaching block at St Edmund’s Catholic Primary, in Bury St Edmunds, to accommodate 120 extra pupils as part of a switch to two-tier education.
They say the development will create problems with more parents dropping off and collecting their children in Westgate Street.
In a letter to the council’s development manager, Sarah Truman said: “Already the road is severely congested at school drop off and pick up times. The increased risk of accident to pedestrians and the subsequent problems with getting emergency vehicles to such accidents is too great.”
Graham Snudden, a parent of five children in the Catholic pyramid, said the current situation ‘results in a ‘rat run’ of unaccompanied children chancing it to run through the near stationary traffic converging on the school’.
He added: “This is already unsustainable to the point of negligence and is totally inconsistent with any further expansion of the site.”
Liz and Tony Fayers, licensees of the Rose and Crown, which is opposite the school, said: “We would ask you to take the major issue of traffic on board and the impact on local residents before you even consider the on-site planning application to which we have no objection at all.”
Johanna Finn, of Friars Lane, Bury, supported the move but suggested the council or diocese investigate the development of a layby, turning circle or other means for children to be dropped off in Cullum Road.
John Abbott, of the Bury Society, said it was ‘happy with the school development but want the traffic to be properly controlled, if necessary by the police’.
In another letter, Mrs J D Holmes said the block was ‘essential for the two tier system proposed’.
The county council’s development control committee will consider the application on July 21. A spokesman said: “All comments will be listened to and taken into account when making a decision.”