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Parents want Haverhill school run route made safer

Laura McShane with son Austin at the narrow point in Burton End that she and other parents want made safer. '''Picture by Mecha Morton
Laura McShane with son Austin at the narrow point in Burton End that she and other parents want made safer. '''Picture by Mecha Morton

A mum-of-four is leading the way in calls to have better traffic calming measures installed at a narrow part of a busy road near two Haverhill primary schools.

Laura McShane has gathered a petition of 200 names in support of her goal and is now in the process of arranging to hand it over to a member of the Suffolk County Council’s highways team.

Laura, a part-time nurse at Addenbrooke’s Hospital whose children are aged seven, four, three and 18-months, wants to see serious improvements made where Burton End narrows to one lane in between School Lane and Anglian Place.

The stretch of road has a pavement used by many parents taking children to Burton End Primary academy or St Felix Primary School in School Lane.

Laura said: “The actual bit where it goes really narrow, when you’ve got the buses and the lorries flying through there and you’ve got small children with you, it’s really frightening.

“I saw a taxi driver mount the kerb nearly knocking over a kid in an attempt to reverse out of the way of an oncoming ambulance with its lights flashing.

“The taxi driver was totally at fault as he thought he could speed through to get past first (like so many other cars think too)!

“I was so angry as not only did he nearly kill a child, he obstructed an emergency service and set a really bad example to the child that was with him in the car!”

The petition is supported by the two schools and many parents whose children go there, plus the area’s county councillor, Paula Fox, and includes demands for many improvements.

Top of the wish-list, said Laura, were metal barriers along the pavements, which would provide protection, ‘especially to smaller more vulnerable children from the close proximity of the larger vehicles’ and a three-way traffic light system with a pedestrian crossing at the Cleves Road end which would allow residents of Anglian Place safer access when leaving their homes and make it safer for people using the pavement .

Previous vehicle speed analysis figures gathered through the use of speed monitoring equipment over a 12 day period last December revealed that five vehicles were clocked going over 50 mph along Burton End between 8am and 9am and also between 3pm and 4pm, coinciding with the school runs.

Laura added: “The petition has all the suggestions that came from numerous parents. It wasn’t what I wanted necessarily, but it was things that the parents wanted.

The wish-list also includes working school patrol lights and a speed reduction, with flashing signs, to 20mph.

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