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Pupils in push for bike path

PUBLISHED: 08:00 26 February 2010 | UPDATED: 09:20 01 August 2010

Dan Haynes

RESPONSIBLE youngsters in Bungay are looking out for the safety of bike riders at their school and throughout the town by campaigning for a new cycle path.

RESPONSIBLE youngsters in Bungay are looking out for the safety of bike riders at their school and throughout the town by campaigning for a new cycle path.

Junior road safety officers at St Edmund's Primary School want a cycle path to be built linking them with their partner school St Benet's in Beccles.

The path would allow the pupils to journey to each others schools for joint events using an eco-friendly and healthy mode of transport.

But it would also provide a safe path for the cyclists of Bungay on roads the pupils believe are very dangerous.

“It's not just for our school it's for adults as well,” said 10-year-old Amelia Wildmore-Evans, who is one of the school's junior road safety officers. “It's not really safe to cycle. It's very scary.”

The junior road safety officers at the school are part of a nationwide group of children who work to make their schools more aware of road safety issues.

The Bungay officers believe that St Mary's Road, where the school is situated, is particularly in need of a cycle path. It has been highlighted as a safety issue by the pupils before, and last year they spoke to Suffolk County Councillor Guy McGregor about making the pedestrian crossing outside the school more visible.

Road safety officer Louis Thatcher, 11, said that he had nearly been hit cycling on St Mary's Road.

And Amelia added that she thought other roads around the school were also dangerous, particularly coming up Hillside Road East where it meets St John's Road. “It's not very safe coming up and down the hill,” she said. “All the big trucks with sugar beet come down by the Co-op.”

Preliminary ideas for the path would see it follow the main Bungay to Beccles road, through Shipmeadow and Barsham, however other routes will be explored.

The children have written to Bungay Town Council about the issue, and will be attending a junior road safety event at the end of May where they hope to talk to Mr McGregor.

They have also written to sustainable transport charity Sustrans in the hope that it will support their project, and plan to talk to Bungay's Godric Cycling Club.

Early research saw the children carry out a survey amongst pupils and parents to find out if they would use a cycle path.

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