Norfolk primary school children fight for reduced speed limit

Self-motivated children at a Norfolk village school became traffic officers recently when they organised their own traffic survey to support the need for a reduction in the speed limit outside their school.

The 30 youngsters in years 5 and 6 at Wicklewood Primary School decided to carry out the survey as part of the schoolwork they were doing and they presented a Powerpoint presentation to Wicklewood Parish Council on Monday to call for a reduction in the speed limit in Hackford Road outside the school from 30mph to 20mph.

Their investigation using a speed gun revealed only a small percentage of cars were exceeding the speed limit, but 52pc were travelling faster than 20mph and 24pc were doing more than 25mph, which prompted the children, aged between nine and 11, to ask for the speed limit reduction fearing the speeding vehicles could jeopardise their safety.

The school's deputy headteacher Julia Brooks said the children had been working on a 'Field Fighters' theme and had been given the task to imagine a housing estate was going to be built next to the school and what problems this could create.

She said as the pupils worked on possible effects from the development, the issue of traffic management was raised and the children decided to carry out the survey.

Norfolk County Council's highways team then supplied the children with a speed gun which they used to clock the speed of passing cars and motorbikes before creating the presentation for the parish council meeting.

Miss Brooks said: 'We thought it would be a really good idea to see if we could possibly get the 30mph speed to a 20mph and the children spoke to the parish council about why they had done it and the council has endorsed it, so now it is a case of watch this space to see what happens next.'

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She added as well as traffic, the pupils also considered the impact of noise from the new development on the school and environmental issues amongst other effects.

'It gives them ownership of their learning and saying what do we need to do. It is just exciting for the children to engage in real life contextual learning.'

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