Parents’ anger over closure of walking route through Eaton golf club
16:39 10 January 2014
Parents have told of their concerns for the safety of children walking to school if plans to shut off public access through a golf club go ahead.
Children and parents walking to Eaton Primary School and the nearby City of Norwich School cut through Eaton Golf Club car park, off Sunningdale, with the club’s permission.
But the decision has been taken to permanently lock the access gate from February 24, prompting parents to launch a campaign and come up with alternative solutions that would still allow access through the gate.
However, golf club bosses argue the decision has been taken because the current route poses a danger to the children who use it.
Alice Brewer, one of the parents organising the ‘Save Our School Run’ campaign, said: “This gate has been used for the school run for more than 30 years and the alternative route the council are suggesting is unsafe. It would add a kilometre to the children’s journey each way, there’s a dangerous blind corner and they’d have to walk along the busy A11.
“We’d really like to sit down and talk to the golf club about options to keep the gate in use, for example a walking school bus or parents patrolling the area.”
Peter Jones, club manager, says the decision to close the gate has been taken due to an increase in both traffic to the club buildings and in the numbers of children cutting through the car park.
He added: “We’ve got children walking through an area where we have regular vans making deliveries, waste collection vehicles reversing and even heavy machinery.
“Add this to children walking to school chatting, texting and listening to music and it’s only a matter of time before there’s an accident. We’ve already had near misses.”
However, Norwich City councillor Judith Lubbock, who represents Eaton, agrees that alternative arrangements need to be made. “The path through the golf club isn’t safe,” she said. “This has to be improved because it just isn’t safe to have cars and children mixing together.”
To join the campaign search for ‘Save our Schoolrun’ on Facebook.