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Work on safety horsewalk fence near St Louis Catholic Academy in Newmarket set to start next week






Work to ensure the safety of children arriving each morning at a Newmarket primary school is set to start next week.

Only last month Sue Blakeley, the head of St Louis Catholic Academy, highlighted the dangers faced on a daily basis by 320 pupils and their parents at the busy intersection between Fordham Road and Rayes Lane where racehorses crossing over the road from The Severals to the Rayes Lane horsewalk and back added to the morning congestion.

Among a list of concerns Mrs Blakeley mentioned in an email to Suffolk County Council, was the condition of the barriers separating horses and their riders from pedestrians along Rayes Lane, which were ineffective and broken.

Rayes Lane horsewalk in Newmarket which is due for new safety railings going between the pavement and the horsewalk making it safer for the children heading to school . Picture: Keith Heppell
Rayes Lane horsewalk in Newmarket which is due for new safety railings going between the pavement and the horsewalk making it safer for the children heading to school . Picture: Keith Heppell

On Monday, work will get under way to replace them with post, rail and mesh racecourse-style fencing, costing £47,000 and paid for in part by money from the locality budgets of county councillors Andy Drummond and Rachel Hood, with a contribution from The Jockey Club.

If the the new ‘Duraloc’ railings are deemed a success they could become part of the street scene in other parts of the town where horses and pedestrians pass close together although the council team has said it was designed as a pedestrian restraint and not to withstand horse impacts.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council Highways said work was expected to last until Friday, May 3, and would be carried out between 1pm and 10pm.

The type of fencing which will be installed in Rayes Lane
The type of fencing which will be installed in Rayes Lane

“While the work is under way, access will be managed by the workforce on the site, who will make every effort to keep noise and disruption to a minimum. If we need to make major changes to our work dates we will update the information signs on the site and our social media channels accordingly,” said the spokesman.

Cllr Drummond said he was delighted that work was starting well ahead of schedule and thanked the council’s officers and contractors for their efforts.

“It's beaten the meeting we had scheduled for April 17 to do exactly that – call the work forward.”