Newton Aycliffe schools join forces to tackle traffic problems

Ten-year-old Lauren Ballantyne and other pupils hold placards outside Sugar Hill Primary School in Newton Aycliffe during a recent protest about dangerous parking outside the school gates.

Ten-year-old Lauren Ballantyne and other pupils hold placards outside Sugar Hill Primary School in Newton Aycliffe during a recent protest about dangerous parking outside the school gates.

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PRIMARY and secondary schools in a County Durham town have united to tackle congestion, dangerous parking and speeding outside their gates.

The Great Aycliffe Road Management and School Safety group will meet every half term to report incidents and identify ways to tackle traffic problems at the beginning and end of the school day.

Today (Monday, March 3), teachers and governors from schools across the Newton Aycliffe area gathered at Sugar Hill Primary School to discuss a plan of action.

Durham police and crime commissioner Ron Hogg, Neighbourhood Police Inspector Mark Hall, local councillors and members of Durham County Council’s road safety team also attended the meeting.

From recruiting youngsters to design leaflets warning parents of the dangers of parking near the school gates; to co-ordinating a week of action across the town and campaigning for 20 miles per hour speed limits – there was no shortage of ideas.

Councillor Paul Kjenstad, chairman of the group and vice chairman of Sugar Hill Primary Board of Governors, said the minutes of the meetings would be passed on to Mr Hogg’s office.

Mr Hogg said it was a fantastic idea, which he hoped would inspire schools in other towns.

“This is not the kind of thing we can solve on a school by school basis and I believe if we work together we can really drive home the message to parents,” he added.

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