Calls to help pupils cross 'exceptionally busy road' outside high school

Road safety banners sponsored by Sowerbys are being put up outside Northgate High School in Dereham

Road safety banners sponsored by Sowerbys are being put up outside Northgate High School in Dereham - Credit: Northgate High School

Calls for a safer crossing are intensifying at a Norfolk high school - whose students have to negotiate an "exceptionally busy road" to get to lessons.

Northgate High School, in Dereham, said its pupils had to encounter a number of tricky roads on their way to and from the site. 

As it stands, there is no pedestrian crossing point on Northgate, the road outside the school's entrance.

The new exhibition centre at Northgate High School, Dereham.For : EDP/DFTCopy : Ian ClarkeCopy

There are calls for a pedestrian crossing to be installed outside Northgate High School in Dereham - Credit: Archant

Students and staff have, for a number of years conducted traffic surveys in a bid to demonstrate the problem, and have even presented their findings to local councillors.

The hope is that a zebra crossing will eventually be installed to reduce the risk of potential incidents, and Dereham Town Council recently lodged such a proposal with the county council. 

Among those to regularly support pupils along Northgate is staff member Calum MacDonald.

He and the school have partnered with estate agent Sowerbys and its Dereham branch to display road safety banners at the front and rear of school, reminding drivers to slow down.

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Sam Jones, Sowerbys branch manager in Dereham, said: "We are proud to support Dereham Northgate High School in its ongoing efforts to ensure student safety.

“We are always looking for ways to support local people and Mr MacDonald is a fantastic example of community spirit.

“For several years, Mr MacDonald has taken time out of his day to make sure students can cross the road safely to and from school.

"It was great to meet staff and students of Northgate to hand over the banners."

With the darker winter months arriving, Northgate is continuing to raise awareness of the importance of road safety using school assemblies.

Meanwhile, Mr MacDonald, who works as an alternative provisions coordinator, attended a virtual meeting hosted by Dereham Town Council in October to highlight the need for safety improvements. 

Stuart Green, 27, the new mayor of Dereham, and the youngest they have ever had. Picture: DENISE BRA

Stuart Green, mayor Dereham - Credit: Denise Bradley

Dereham mayor Stuart Green, himself a former student at Northgate, added: "The town council has recently put a bid in with Norfolk County Council for a pedestrian crossing to be installed, which would be the best long-term solution.

“I hope the new signs will raise awareness among drivers of the school crossing, and make it a safer place for children."

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