Plans to build a new school in Colchester are proving controversial as residents worry that inadequate access routes will turn the school run into a “rat run.”
Essex County Council intends to build the £5million Braiswick New Academy on land between Apprentice Drive and Fernlea. The school is due to open in September and will cater for children in Braiswick and Mile End.
Anger comes after a public consultation revealed that plans outlined during an initial meeting in January had been greatly altered.
Chris Law, whose home is next to the access point from Fernlea, told reporters: “Residents are disgusted. They feel they have been misled and sold down the line.”
Problematic school access has been a concern felt across Colchester over recent months.
Earlier this week, Craig Duncan, head at Queen Boudica Primary School, in Colchester’s Mile End, claimed that bad parking near to the school was putting children at risk.
He said: “The road is not built for the traffic it takes and we are concerned because there are a lot of children.
“Often they are having to cross a very busy road and having cars parked so they cannot see is dangerous.”
Parents of children attending Highwoods Community Primary have also been warned about parking in spaces reserved for Highwoods residents. Due to the persistence of the problem, a local management company is now considering installing a barrier to prevent further misuse of residential parking. The move comes after a parent was knocked down outside the school in 2013.
While the full impact of the Braiswick New Academy on local road safety and congestion will not be known until building work is complete, the proposed plans once again raise questions about whether Colchester’s infrastructure is capable of supporting the continual influx of new residents.
Do you have difficulty parking near your child’s school? Should councils and schools do more to make the school run safer? Please share your views below.
For more information visit http://www.gazette-news.co.uk/news/local/colchester/11111791.Residents__anger_over_new_school_plans/?ref=arc and http://www.gazette-news.co.uk/news/11109948.Poor_driving_puts_schoolkids_at_risk/