Headteacher hails plans for 20mph limit along rat run

Joanna Pedlow, executive headteacher at Toftwood Infant and Junior Schools

Joanna Pedlow, executive headteacher at Toftwood Infant and Junior Schools - Credit: Toftwood Infant and Junior School

A headteacher has hailed the potential introduction of reduced speed limits and speed bumps near her school - which sits in the middle of an notorious rat run. 

Joanna Pedlow, executive head at Toftwood Infant and Junior Schools, said bringing the limit down from 30mph to 20mph in the area would be a "big positive". 

Concerns were raised about an increase of traffic on Westfield Road

Congestion can often be seen in Westfield Road, Toftwood - Credit: Archant

Norfolk County Council has proposed to lower the maximum speed on most of School Lane and Westfield Road, as well as a short stretch of William Cowper Close. 

A total of nine speed humps could also be installed to encourage drivers to slow down. 

Considerable congestion can often be seen in this part of Toftwood during school drop-off and pick-up time, while many motorists use the roads as a cut-through to avoid the busy A1075 Shipdham Road.

Mrs Pedlow, who has been head of the infant school for more than two decades and the junior school for five years, said it was about time new rules were brought in. 

Toftwood Junior School, DerehamPhoto:Antony KellyCopy:Ian ClarkeFor: EDP newsEDP pics © 200

Toftwood Junior School in Westfield Road

"We have tried for years to see whether they could put a lower limit in and resolve these traffic problems," she added.

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"We have always tried to tell parents and other drivers of the need to slow down and drive safely. Most are very good, but there are some who still don't listen.

"We have had plenty of near misses over the years, where drivers have gone up onto the pavement to get by because no-one will give way. 

"I think this is a big positive because people do zoom down there very quickly when there are children crossing the road."

Changes could also see 'keep clear' and 'no waiting at any time' zones moved or extended in the area. 

While pleased at the measures, Kendra Cogman, mother of a pupil at the junior school and a Dereham town councillor, said the issue of congestion would likely remain. 

"You always need traffic calming around schools, but we are still stuck with the same issue," she said. 

Kendra Cogman, parent of a pupil at Toftwood Junior School and Dereham town councillor

Kendra Cogman, parent of a pupil at Toftwood Junior School and Dereham town councillor - Credit: Submitted

"Most of the time, you can't actually speed down there because it is so congested. The thing is, there is just nowhere to park because the school was built when far fewer people were driving.

"There is this argument that parents are being lazy, but often they going to their jobs afterwards.

"We have to consider what else can be done to reduce the amount of traffic."