Measures to combat traffic issues as two Bury St Edmunds schools to get more pupils

Mark Westley Photography'Children from Hardwick Primary School on the walking bus driven by parent volunteer Jayne Castle and Isobel Ewing conducting. ANL-141113-075713009
Mark Westley Photography'Children from Hardwick Primary School on the walking bus driven by parent volunteer Jayne Castle and Isobel Ewing conducting. ANL-141113-075713009
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As two schools in Bury St Edmunds look to expand, measures have been drawn up and put forward to mitigate the effects of increased traffic.

Hardwick Primary, in Steward Road, is to get three extra classrooms and Westgate Primary, in Brooklands Close, off Hospital Road, will receive four new classrooms, an activity area and hearing impaired unit.

The proposals by Suffolk County Council are part of the town’s move to two tier education with primary schools taking on extra year groups.

However, concerns have been raised about the impact of expansion on existing traffic problems during drop off and pick up times with highways contractor Kier MG drafting a number of recommendations.

At Hardwick Primary, they suggested the council should continue to promote sustainable school travel, improve the visibility of school warning signs in Steward Road and improve local cycle facilities as well as facilities for bus users.

Daryl Jones, head at Hardwick Primary, said they want to encourage parents to allow pupils to use their walking bus scheme and to get Year 5 and 6 pupils to walk to school.

They will also encourage pupils to cycle to school as they will have extra bike sheds.The school is also organising a competition for pupils to design signs encouraging motorists in Steward Road to slow down. County Cllr Sarah Stamp will provide funds to get the signs produced.

Mr Jones would also like to see Steward Road reduced to a 20mph zone.

He added: “I’m very aware of community concerns about increasing traffic particularly in Steward Road but we’re working and doing all we can.”

For the area around Westgate Primary School, Kier MG recommended that the council provide an additional uncontrolled crossing in Hospital Road and one in West Road.

It suggests installing signage highlighting an appropriate speed limit such as 10mph in Brooklands Close.

The school’s travel plan should also be updated to reduce the number of children who travel to school by car.

Addressing the traffic issues on both applications, a planning statement by Concertus Design and Property Consultants said: “Whilst it is not possible to commit at this stage to a solution, as this is subject to funding availability, the local authority will continue to work alongside the school in its endeavours.”