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New path aims to make walk to school safer for Beccles families

Local residents who have campaigned for the new pathway.
 in Coney Hill, with Graham Catchpole and Chris Punt. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Local residents who have campaigned for the new pathway. in Coney Hill, with Graham Catchpole and Chris Punt. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

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Work is due to start next month on a project to create a new footpath in Beccles, after concerns were raised by parents taking their children to school.

The path will connect Coney Hill and Banham Road so that parents, other pedestrians and people on mobility scooters do not have to cross the road at the brow of the hill to walk down on the footpath on the other side of the road.

Work will start on cutting away the grass bank just before the turning to Banham Road on August 1.

Jess Benham, who walks the route everyday to take her children aged five and eight to Beccles Primary Academy, said crossing the road at the top of the hill was extremely dangerous. She said: “Both my children nearly got hit by cars because they were trying to cross. And there are some really inconsiderate drivers sometimes which doesn’t help.”

And Jade Stembalski, who walks the same route with her seven and three-year-old children, said: “We stand there sometimes for 10 minutes and no one ever stops to let us cross.

“The path will make it a lot more safe for children.”

Beccles mayor Graham Catchpole has been working with Suffolk county councillor Chris Punt on the project, and £12,000 has been earmarked by the county council for the scheme.

Mr Catchpole said: “I’ve lived up here for 40 years and it has always nagged me and lots of mums told me it was a problem.

“Waveney District Council came down in early spring to cut back the bushes so it was ready, and it will also give drivers a better view coming out of the junction.”

The work is expected to take three weeks to complete.

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