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Toftwood school traffic comes to a head with angry confrontations

PUBLISHED: 07:00 01 March 2017 | UPDATED: 15:13 03 March 2017

Congestion on Westfield Road

Congestion on Westfield Road

Archant

Traffic gridlock outside three schools in Toftwood has caused angry confrontations between motorists.

Congestion on Westfield RoadCongestion on Westfield Road

The issue over cars and vans parked along the road sides, combined with traffic trying to travel in both directions, has come to a head on several occasions in the past week along Westfield Road and School Road.

Cars and buses are regularly forced to mount the pavement to get past at dropping off and picking up times, putting pedestrians and children at risk.

Witnesses have also seen drivers shouting and screaming at each other because neither has been willing to move.

And residents and parents fear the situation will become unbearable if another 400 houses are built in the area.

There is currently an application with Breckland planners for 291 homes off Westfield Lane and a public inquiry has just been held for an appeal against refusal of 100 homes at the back of Rash’s Green Industrial Estate.

The 291 homes scheme was due to be discussed last month but was deferred and it has now been deferred again to an as yet undecided meeting.

Kirsty Heath, a member of campaign group Toftwood Life Community, said she had been documenting evidence of the traffic chaos.

“It is a nightmare,” she said. “It is like that most mornings and afternoons around the school. People should walk more but many, like me, also have to get to work and we have to drive. When the schools were built there were fewer working parents and there weren’t 30 children to a class. Some of the families don’t live in walking distance either. Bearing in mind there could be another 400 homes around here we need to make a big deal of it now.”

Dereham Town Council has warned district planners that it will call in the 291 homes and two other large planning applications in Dereham for decision by the Secretary of State if they are approved.

It is concerned that planners will give too much weight to the Dereham Transport Study which was commissioned by Breckland into traffic congestion in the town and how it will be affected by more development. It has now commissioned its own study at a cost of £61,000.

* See live video of the traffic situation on the EDP24 Facebook page.

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