£3k vest fund approved to increase visibility of school pupils
- Credit: NEIL DIDSBURY
More than 2,000 pupils across six primary schools will be given high-visibility vests in a move to improve safety walking to school.
The Kesgrave, Rushmere St Andrew, Martlesham, Carlford and Fynn Valley Community Partnership of East Suffolk Council and town and parish councils in the area unanimously agreed to a funding bid of £3,000 for the scheme.
The vests will be offered to nearly 2,000 pupils at the six feeder primary schools for Kesgrave High, including in Kesgrave, Martlesham and the Bealings.
A report to the committee said: “Following discussion with county councillors in the rural areas of the CP [community partnership], it was clear that some students and families have to walk on public roads where there is no footpath, or opportunity to create one.
“Speed and accident data showed there are road safety concerns across the entire CP area – both in village settings and the more urban areas as well.
“These relate to speed of vehicles, their frequency and dangerous road layouts."
Bealings, Cedarwood, Birchwood, Gorseland, Heath and Martlesham primaries expressed interest in the scheme and are set to benefit from the jackets.
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Schools around Carlford and Fynn Valley conducted a similar scheme previously.
The report continued: “Whilst there are methods to tackle those issues separately, there is an opportunity to increase visibility of school students on the way to and from school.”
The vests will be given to pupils at the beginning of term and collected at the end of the year, to enable them to be re-used for future years.
Stuart Lawson, Kesgrave councillor at Suffolk County Council and East Suffolk Council, said it was “a lot of money doing so much good”.
East Suffolk Martlesham councillor Chris Blundell added: “I am sure schools and children will be delighted – there are six schools so it is going to be a really good item.”