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Our school run goes into a building site
8:00am Friday 29th June 2012 in Colchester
THE school run to Queen Boudica Primary School in Colchester has become more dangerous than most.
As if dodging rush-hour traffic is not treacherous enough, children have to walk through a building site.
Mums, dads and carers say there have been several near misses with forklift trucks and lorries.
It has prompted Linden Homes Eastern to stop using vehicles for 30 minutes during the school run.
Childminder Marina de Smith, of Bardsley Close, walks as many as five children across the development every day.
Mrs de Smith has called for builders to down their tools between 8.30am and 9am.
She said: “We are constantly on our guard watching out for dangers.
“At what other schools do you have to walk through a building site to get your children there?
“It’s not normal. My job is to get the children safely to school and it’s not easy. There have been so many near misses. I honestly think it’s only a matter of time before someone is hurt badly.”
Work has been ongoing at the site for the two years, but a curfew to let children pass safely has been revoked.
Mum Sian Simpkins, of Mile End Road, said she and her daughter, four, had a near miss when a truck almost reversed into them. She said: “We did have an incident with a forklift truck.
“It didn’t see us, we were crossing over and it reversed at speed round the corner. I had to stop and wave to get them to stop.”
Craig Duncan, headteacher at Queen Boudica, said the school shared parents’ concerns.
He said: “We are doing all we possibly can to work with Linden Homes to ensure access arrangements are properly controlled and works happen in a timely way so the impact and changes to the normal routines are minimalised as far as possible.
“We appreciate the situation is difficult and complicated for everyone and we just ask for everybody’s understanding and patience.”
Jason Lewis, operations director at Linden Homes Eastern, said the curfew had been reinstated after a call from the Gazette.
He said: “The safety of all those passing the site is of paramount importance to Linden Homes.
“We would like to assure parents and teachers we have reinforced our curfew relating to vehicle movement and deliveries on site between 8.15am to 9.15am and 3pm and 3.45pm.
“We will ensure all our staff and sub-contractors adhere to this curfew.”