Campaign to keep golf club shortcut in Norwich school run continues
09:47 13 February 2014
Parents have pledged to keep up the pressure over a controversial move which could see a route their children use to get to school sealed off.
Children and parents walking to Eaton Primary School and City of Norwich School cut through Eaton Golf Club car park, off Sunningdale, with the club’s permission. But the golf club has decided to lock the access gate permanently from February 24 because it is thought the current route poses a danger to children due to an increase in traffic to the club and the number of children cutting through the car park. Eaton Golf Club has said its preferred way forward would be a land swap deal with City of Norwich School which could pave the way for a dedicated pedestrian route being created.
A Norfolk County Council spokesman said the council had been looking at the option of creating a special pedestrian route through the golf club and also providing improvements to the alternative Branksome Road route.
He added: “We can confirm that a meeting is taking place between City of Norwich School and Norfolk County Council on Friday. “The details of this are private at this stage but we are keen to work together to find a solution to this problem that is satisfactory to all parties.”
Meanwhile parents in the Save Our School Run campaign group are urging the different parties to reach an agreement that keeps the access through the golf club open, because they say the alternative route is longer and would mean the children would have to walk alongside busy roads including the A11.
Sarah Pearson, from Save Our School Run, said: “We urge the council and the golf club to work together to come to an agreement to keep the gate open. We want a safe route to school for our children and we will continue to campaign.”
She said they were looking at the possibilities of fundraising and also setting up a walking bus.
Eaton Golf Club manager Peter Johns said: “The primary issue with all of this is the safety of pedestrians and children, and the current mixture of traffic and children is unacceptable.”
He said the golf club’s preferred way forward was either a 200sqm like-for-like land swap with City of Norwich School, or the school providing the club with a bigger piece of land in return for pupils being able to use the club’s facilities created on the land and the possibility of pupils being given golf training.