Fears kids could get hurt crossing Busy road from Mildenhall school to new Fiveways McDonald’s lead to pedestrian crossing pledge
Pupils from Mildenhall College Academy had to cross the dangerous A1101 to reach the fast food chain.
A pedestrian crossing on a notoriously busy road in Mildenhall is set to be installed, after fears children from a nearby school could get hurt trying to reach a newly opened McDonald’s.
Concerned councillors, residents and parents have been calling for a crossing ever since the McDonald’s at the Fiveways Roundabout (A11) was granted planning permission.
The move has been welcomed by Susan Byles, principal of Mildenhall College Academy, but she criticised the decision to open the fast food chain before the crossing was completed.
“Inevitably if you build a McDonald’s less than half a mile from a school, children will want to go,” she said.
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“We do not allow all our pupils out at lunchtime, but Years 11s get lunchtime exit passes, and we can’t control what any of our pupils do before and after school.
“We are really pleased that we are getting the crossing. It is for the local community as well, as many young families with children walk up from town to get to the McDonald’s.”
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The school is on the opposite side to McDonald’s on the busy Bury Road A1101, the main route into Mildenhall.
Mrs Byles continued: “We were always very concerned the McDonald’s had opened before the crossing had been put in place. I was very thankful that one of our parents felt strongly about it and got a bit of a petition and a campaign going.
“I do welcome the decision, but the McDonald’s has been open since September, and I hear that the crossing should be in place by Easter. Six months is too long really. It should never have been allowed to open until the crossing had been completed.”
The move has been supported by Matt Hancock, MP for the West Suffolk constituency, who after being contacted by concerned campaigners wrote to Suffolk County Council highways.
The Conservative MP said the “swift action” by highways was good news, adding: “Bury Road is particularly busy and has seen many people crossing the road since the opening of McDonald’s.”
Mr Hancock has previously joined growing calls for drastic changes to the way traffic at the chokepoint roundabout is managed, supporting a bid for traffic lights.
A county council spokesman said: “We are currently working on the design work for this new crossing as we recognise the importance of developing a new pedestrian crossing. We want to ensure that the design and work is planned thoroughly and this does take time, however we hope to commence work early 2016.”