Sudbury: Fresh calls for speed limit and crossing patrol close to St Gregory’s School

Mill Hill / Cross Street in Sudbury where there is a call for a pedestrian crossing.

Mill Hill / Cross Street in Sudbury where there is a call for a pedestrian crossing. - Credit: Archant

A crossing patrol officer is needed on a busy stretch of road near a school to prevent a child from being injured or killed, councillors have claimed.

Youngsters using the ‘walking bus’ on route to St Gregory’s School in Church Street, Sudbury, have to cross Mill Hill.

Members of the town’s highways and footpaths committee have expressed concerns about the speed of traffic travelling along the road, and they have asked Suffolk County Council to install a crossing. However, they have been told that it would cost £40,000 plus another £3,000 for a feasibility study, which the council has deemed “too expensive”.

Committee member Lesley Ford Platt, who is also chairman of governors at St Gregory’s said: “The county has said it would cost £40,000 to paint some lines on the road and apparently they don’t have any money to fund it. The school’s headteacher, Phil Knowles, is incredulous about this. It is sad that it always seems to be the case that a child must be seriously injured or killed before anything is done.”

The committee suggested a crossing patrol officer at the location would be a “quick fix” and could be part-funded by local county councillors’ locality budgets. Mrs Ford Platt added: “The ‘greenest county’ initiative wants all schools to have a walking bus to stop congestion and promote healthy activity. Mill Hotel has kindly allowed parents to park there and walk their children up to the school, but they have to cross Mill Hill where the traffic is too fast.”

Her colleague, Nigel Bennett, suggested the county council could introduce a 20mph speed limit on Mill Hill as part of its “20’s Plenty” campaign. Imposing 20mph speed restrictions is one of a list of traffic issues the committee wants to see tackled as “priorities”. Also top of the list is more designated parking for disabled drivers and extra taxi parking spaces in King Street. The measures could be introduced as part of a Local Transport Plan, which is due to be discussed at a meeting with new county transport chief Graham Newman, in Sudbury, on September 24. The council has earmarked £460,000 to be spent on traffic improvements in the town by 2015. Committee chairman Tony Platt said: “I see the immediate priorities as disabled and taxi parking, the 20mph speed limit and then [widening the footpath in] Gainsborough Street.”