Dog walkers up in arms over Audley End Road restrictions

PUBLISHED: 08:01 15 March 2012 | UPDATED: 09:39 15 March 2012

SWCHS

SWCHS

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SAFFRON Walden County High School has this week distanced itself from a traffic restriction banning motorists from stopping or parking on Audley End Road.

The move has dog walkers and nature lovers up in arms as they blame the ongoing construction work at the school for the North Essex Parking Partnership’s decision to enforce an urban clearway order.

They say the building of the school’s new auditorium has led to a large number of sixth formers parking outside Ice House Lodge – one of the entrances to Audley End Park.

Saffron Walden’s county councillor Robert Chambers said at one point he had counted up to 27 cars parked along the road and that the situation had become dangerous because there were vehicles parked near the blind bend coming up the hill.

But headteacher John Hartley said the school had not been consulted on the clearway decision and that alternative proposals put forward by County High had so far been ignored.

“The school pressed for speeding restrictions because we recognised there was a potential safety concern on Audley End Road,” Mr Hartley told the Reporter.

“We have a long standing plan which we have put to the county council on more than one occasion to introduce a 20mph speed limit in front of the school.”

Mr Hartley added the school also believed a 30mph speed limit should be brought in all the way up to the bridge at the miniature railway, but said they had not had a full reply to the letter written to the county council.

“My understanding is that district council and county council representatives discussed the introduction of a clearway order on Audley End Road – but we never heard anything further until we saw it in the paper.”

The restriction came into effect from last Thursday and is likely to remain in place until the school’s new auditorium is completed next April.

A spokesman from the North Essex Parking Partnership said the clearway restriction had been brought in to promote road safety, remove obstructions and to stop the destruction of the protected verge.

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