Bus crash sparks calls for improvements to Costessey estate

A bus crash at a popular children's play spot has sparked angry calls from those living on a Costessey estate for something to be done about improving the area.

Residents living on Kestrel Avenue, on the Queen's Hill housing estate, were shocked to see a First bus plough through a small wooden fence into a green space commonly used as a football pitch – stopping just short of a child's wheelbarrow left out from the day before.

Monday's incident – following which the bus driver has been suspended – prompted questions over maintenance of land that some say has been left to become unsafe and neglected. Mother-of-four Paula Goldsmith said her youngest daughter, five-year-old Madison, had been playing on the site with four friends the day before. She said: 'If this had happened 24 hours before it could have been a tragedy. The fence is not good enough and so children often run out to get a ball.'

She added that the grassy spot is riddled with sand and often floods, and a path outside the houses does not connect to the main street, meaning residents often have to walk through mud.

Mrs Goldsmith, who is considering leaving the area, added that the long-running issue of unadopted roads without road markings meant cars could park in hazardous spots.

Neighbour Emily Janes said they were not allowed make changes themselves. She said the housing authorities and Norfolk County Council 'all deny it's their responsibility, and it's so frustrating.'

The Queens Hill site was run by developers Cofton but taken over by administrators Deloitte after Cofton went into administration in 2008.

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A spokesman for Deloitte said there are 'ongoing discussions with the consortium of house builders to allow them to facilitate the adoption of public space.'

A First spokesman said: 'The driver involved in the incident has currently been suspended while we carry out a full investigation as to the cause of the incident. Thankfully no passengers were on board.'

A county council spokesman said: 'Norfolk County Council will take over the maintenance of the roads, once they have been finished to an acceptable standard and the necessary legal processes completed.

'This is currently in the hands of the administrators. However, the county council will continue to encourage all parties to do what they can to resolve this matter in the interests of the local community.'

Do you have a story for the Evening News? Email john.owens@archant.co.uk

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