Safety fears over busy road near Westgate Primary School, in Bury St Edmunds
A parent fears a busy Bury St Edmunds road near a primary school is ‘an accident waiting to happen’ due to poor signage and the absence of a pedestrian crossing.
However, Suffolk Highways said the cost of installing a crossing would almost certainly be ‘prohibitively expensive’, despite last year spending £1 million replacing traffic lights in the next road.
Parent and driving instructor Gavin Hale raised his safety fears about Hospital Road at school drop-off and pick-up times.
He said zig-zag lines along one side of the busy road forced parents to park on the opposite side causing children to cross the road – sometimes between parked cars. He added there was also no pelican crossing and inadequate signage warning motorists of the nearby school.
“They spent £1 million on the Spread Eagle traffic lights when only 200m round the corner you have got children running the gauntlet and there is nothing, no crossing,” he said.
“The council has a responsibility to tackle this problem. It has a duty of care – we are talking about three to four-year-old children here. It is a busy, busy road, but a pedestrian crossing would slow people down.”
Jenny Cockett, Westgate Primary School headteacher, said the safety of children was of ‘paramount concern’.
“I have had concerns raised to me by a few parents about the difficulty in crossing the road safely, as the number of parked cars restricts visibility. We will be referring the suggestions regarding a crossing and signage to the local authority and ask that these are given serious consideration.”
She added that families were encouraged to walk to school, while safety messages were communicated through assemblies.
A spokeswoman for Suffolk Highways said they were aware of the concerns around the school, but added: “If a suitable location could be identified for a pedestrian crossing, the cost for this would be prohibitively expensive, therefore would be an unlikely solution.”