Concerns over traffic 
problems outside schools

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New classroom blocks to accommodate scores of new pupils at village schools will ‘exacerbate’ traffic problems, parish councils have warned.

The proposed facilities at Great Barton and Elmswell Primary’s will house the incoming Years 5 and 6 as part of Suffolk’s move to two tier education.

However, while the villages’ parish councils have not objected to the developments they raised concerns to Suffolk County Council about a potential increase in congestion.

In remarks published in the county council’s planning application for the two classroom block for 60 extra pupils at Great Barton Primary, in School Road, a spokesman said: “The council is deeply disappointed and concerned that there has been no attempt to provide parking within the school grounds or, at the very least, an in and out drop-off and collection point for those children who must come by car.”

In response, headteacher Sarah Rees said they were exploring the possibility of staggered arrival and collection times when they take on the new year groups.

The school has an arrangement which allows parents to use the car park at Great Barton Free Church at arrival and collection times.

They are also planning to consult with residents ‘to encourage a community solution to the problem’.

A spokesman for highways said double yellow lines into School Road should be extended if the parking issues affect the A143 and B1106.

Development manager David Palk added that the concerns should be considered when developing county council owned land next to the school.

Meanwhile, Elmswell Parish Council, said the traffic hazard at the village primary school, in Oxer Close, will ‘inevitably be exacerbated’ by taking on an extra 90 pupils, who will be accommodated in a three classroom block. A spokesman said parents’ ‘inappropriate parking on Cooks Road and Bennett Avenue restricts visability for both pedestrians and other drivers’.

Mr Palk said that while Oxer Close is a cul-de-sac, ‘vehicular movements are eased by the road layout which has a small roundabout’.

He added: “Parents are also able to use the access from Cooks Road which is convenient for joint drop-off to the Little Elms Pre-School.

“Year 5 and 6 pupils would be encouraged to wallk and cycle to school. New secure cycle storage has been incorporated into the development and located adjacent to the new building.

“The highways authority has considered the representation made and considers there to be no grounds to refuse the application.” The county council’s development control committee will discuss the plans on Tuesday December 18.