New 20mph speed limit welcomed by Holt school

Holt Primary School pupils happy at the new 20mph speed limit near the school. Pupils Sophie Marlow

Holt Primary School pupils happy at the new 20mph speed limit near the school. Pupils Sophie Marlow 8 and Nat Lawes 7 with headteacher Simon Walters.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The headteacher of a north Norfolk primary school has welcomed the decision to enforce a 20mph speed limit outside its gates.

Holt Community Primary School is one of five schools in the county prioritised to receive a share of £50,000 of council funding to enforce a restricted speed limit.

The school, on Norwich Road, was assessed as being most in need of a part-time advisory 20mph speed limit - timed to cover peak drop-off and pick-up times - and will be introduced to improve safety for students.

Simon Walters, headteacher, welcomed the idea amid fears the 'potential' for an accident outside the school was possible.

He said: 'We are a medium-sized school, with around 180 children. We've got a busy road outside and it's a main route used by heavy vehicles - it's not a good combination.

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'It's good to be proactive, rather than reactive, and not to wait for an accident to happen but instead do something before it happens.'

Norfolk County Council (NCC) carried out assessments at 22 schools and has allocated £50,000 in its 2013/14 budget for the part-time advisory 20mph speed limits outside about a quarter of them.

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The schools were assessed on a range of criteria including pupil numbers, the number of personal injury accidents in the last five years, traffic flow and the potential for children to walk or cycle to school.

The ones assessed as being most in need were listed in a report to NCC's environment, transport and development overview and scrutiny panel, which met at the end of last month.

Members of the panel noted the report and agreed to carry out the recommendations in this financial year.

Other school that will benefit from the funding include Reffley Community School and Heacham Junior School in King's Lynn, St Williams Primary in Thorpe St Andrew, Norwich, and Scarning Primary School, near Dereham.

Reffley Community School topped the priority list due to having the highest number of personal injury accidents, with four recorded in the last five years.

The report added that it would cost an 'unaffordable' £3.75m to treat all the schools in the county.

Dave Stephens, team manager for network management at NCC, said: 'It is giving people the information to make the appropriate judgement about how they should be driving in these areas at these sensitive times.'

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