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Bury St Edmunds parent calls for road safety improvements after youngster injured in incident near two schools

A parent is calling for changes to make a Bury St Edmunds road safer after an incident involving a youngster near two schools on Monday.

An East of England Ambulance Service ambulance and rapid response vehicle responded to an emergency call in Grove Road shortly before 9am.

The youngster had minor injuries and did not require further treatment.

Grove Road, in Bury St Edmunds
Grove Road, in Bury St Edmunds

Grove Road is busy at school start and finish times, as it has entrances to King Edward VI School, St Edmundsbury Primary School and Little Angels Day Care. Combined, the schools and pre-school have capacity for almost 2,000 children.

Tom Soper, who regularly walks in Grove Road on the school run, said narrow pavements, two-way traffic and parked cars made the area difficult to navigate for pedestrians, particularly alongside the need for social distancing.

“For those of us who walk our children to and from school down Grove Road every day, the accident comes as no surprise at all,” said Mr Soper.

“The pavement is narrow, poorly maintained and has overgrown bushes making it difficult to walk down. This, alongside social distancing, means people are more likely to walk in the road – a road which is very narrow and two-way. Hundreds of children walk down this road every morning and some cars drive far too quickly during the busy peak school drop-off times.

“Do local councillors ever walk down these roads at peak time? Can they not see the danger to our children? Perhaps now that there is blood on the road the council will finally make some changes.”

His safety improvement suggestions include wider pavements, parking strictly limited to residents, a lollipop crossing and a one-way system.

“There are hundreds of kids walking down there and no provision for their safety. I would make the pavement twice as wide and cut out the parking on one side of the road and ensure it is a safe place for people and children to walk down. It is dangerous as it is now,” said Mr Soper.

“There are plenty of people on furlough at the moment and I’m sure they could find someone to be a lollipop man – dressed in high-vis they would help to make sure people slow down and are driving properly. It seems common sense to me.”

Suffolk Highways said it had inspected the road on September 22, finding one defect to be repaired. It is to reinspect the footpath in the light of Mr Soper’s report.

A spokeswoman said reports could be made via the highways reporting tool at https://highwaysreporting.suffolk.gov.uk/

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