Petition launched over traffic problems outside Carlton Colville Primary School

ACTION CALL: Clare Robson has organised a petition over the parking problems at Carlton Colville Primary School and is being backed by fellow parents and local residents. Below, Suffolk county councillor Sonya Barker who is pressing the authority to find a solution.  picture: NICK BUTCHER ACTION CALL: Clare Robson has organised a petition over the parking problems at Carlton Colville Primary School and is being backed by fellow parents and local residents. Below, Suffolk county councillor Sonya Barker who is pressing the authority to find a solution. picture: NICK BUTCHER

Monday, December 30, 2013
6:52 AM

A mother-of-three has launched a petition calling on Suffolk County Council to resolve the “serious” traffic problems caused by parents parking at Carlton Colville Primary School.

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Clare Robson, whose children attend the school in Gisleham Road, is calling for action to make roads, footpaths and parking safer and reduce the impact of congestion on people living nearby.

She has accused the county council of burying its head in the sand over the issue and says parents and residents are beginning to feel disillusioned with the apparent lack of progress on a safe school travel plan.

Mrs Robson, 39, of Burlingham Drive, Carlton Colville, needs 3,675 signatures on the petition before it must be debated by the county council and is urging as many people as possible to back her campaign.

She said: “We should all be able to get our children to school safely, with minimal stress and without completely disrupting the surrounding community. However, I appreciate there is no simple solution.

“It is my belief that it will take a raft of measures to alleviate the problem.”

She added: “The much-discussed car park is a need, but if we could solve the problem of people feeling that they cannot walk or cycle with ease and in safety then the volume of traffic would be reduced.”

As previously reported, parents dropping off and picking up their children in their cars are causing gridlock in Gisleham Road and Rushmere Road at the start and end of the school day.

People living nearby say they feel trapped in their homes by the traffic and, on one occasion, an ambulance was delayed in taking seriously-ill Gisleham Road resident Frank Nicholls to hospital because of cars blocking the road.

Mr Nicholls, 77, has already submitted a petition to the county council calling for action to resolve the traffic problems, and he is backing Mrs Robson’s campaign, along with many of his neighbours.

Campaigners say the problems became worse when the middle school which previously occupied the site was closed and reopened as a primary school under the county council’s school organisation review.

The school increased in size and the fact it now has younger pupils means more are driven to school by parents.

Mrs Robson said paving grass verges and providing additional footpaths, including a route across fields from The Street to Gisleham Road, would help parents to feel safe when walking to school.

She claims the existing paths are too narrow for people to pass safely with pushchairs and young children.

Suffolk County councillor for Pakefield, Sonia Barker, has been working with the school, parents and residents to find a solution. She met Lisa Chambers, cabinet member for skills, education and young people, and county council officers at the end of November, when she set out the concerns of the school and residents.

Further meetings are planned early next year.

Fellow Labour councillor Sandra Gage, shadow spokesman for roads and transport, has been working with Mrs Barker to address the issue and said the problems at Carlton Colville were some of the worst she had seen.

A Suffolk County Council spokesman said: “We welcome the fact that parents are expressing their views by creating and taking part in this petition. Once it has finished, we will of course consider the results.”

To sign Mrs Robson’s petition, visit www.epetitions.sccapps.net/ and search for “Carlton Colville”.

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