Calls for double yellow lines near Bury St Edmunds school

Cllr Sarah Stamp and headteacher Jan Hatchell at the problem junction
Cllr Sarah Stamp and headteacher Jan Hatchell at the problem junction
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Dangerous and inconsiderate parking near a Bury St Edmunds school have prompted calls for double yellow lines.

Suffolk County Council has been asked to consider an emergency traffic order to get double yellow lines introduced at the junction of South Close, a private road leading to Riverwalk School.

The school caters for pupils from a wide catchment area who have severe, profound and multiple learning difficulties. Many are wheelchair users and some have a range of complex health needs and/or severe challenging behaviour.

As such, the school requires access to its car park for more than 30 vehicles a day, including large buses with door lifts and parents with specially adapted cars.

It also has up to 12 visits a day from parents called in for meetings and such people as physiotherapists and speech and language therapists.

But motorists parking near the traffic island in Hospital Road and opposite the South Close junction are making access to the school difficult, leading some to call for double yellow lines.

Headteacher Jan Hatchell said both Riverwalk and the nearby Westgate Primary School had parking problems which spilled out onto the main road, where residents also park, causing traffic chaos and safety issues.

She said: “They park on the main road because there’s nowhere to park which reduces the amount of space for traffic to flow and we’ve got cars and buses turning with restricted vision.

“The road is for a school and people need to allow space, not park right up to the end of the junction which is what they do.

“People also use it as a turning circle - we’re trying to get buses down and walk children who don’t know how to keep themselves safe and they’re trying to use it for a U-turn.

“The junction needs to be kept clear - it would be much easier if it was double yellow lines and people kept away.”

County councillor Sarah Stamp is worried the area ‘is an accident waiting to happen’ and has asked the council to protect the junction with double yellow lines, offering her highways budget to help.

She said: “There is a genuine problem with people parking in a way that makes it difficult for minibuses and larger vehicles to pass safely.”

A spokesman for the county council said they were waiting for the police to confirm they were happy with a suggested approach which would avoid the need for double yellow lines.