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New path for school children

PUBLISHED: 08:40 06 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:33 07 July 2010

Pupils at Scarning Primary School now have a safer route to school and an incentive to walk or cycle rather than jump in the car.

At a cost of over £110,000 a new 800m foot and cycle path was opened in the village to give easier access for pupils living at the Dereham end of the village and reduce the number of cars parking along the busy road.

Pupils at Scarning Primary School now have a safer route to school and an incentive to walk or cycle rather than jump in the car.

At a cost of over £110,000 a new 800m foot and cycle path was opened in the village to give easier access for pupils living at the Dereham end of the village and reduce the number of cars parking along the busy road.

The new path was made possible through a partnership between Norfolk County Council and sustainable transport charity Sustrans, which contributed £48,000 to the scheme.

The need for a safer route was highlighted by a mother who regularly used the route to take her children to the primary school and it was also included in the school's travel plan.

Headteacher Grahame Chambers said their target was now to get at least 50pc of the schoolchildren to walk or cycle.

“This new path with make it a safer and healthier journey to school for a majority of children,” he said. “We are now hoping to get funding for more cycle racks.”

The path is also supported by Scarning Parish Council and chairman Alan Glister said it was a step in the right direction.

“This path is hugely important for the future of the village,” he said. “We would now like to see a better path from the other end of the village for the children who live there. There is also a large elderly population who regularly walk into Dereham so we are looking for support to get the path widened and made safer. We are fighting to get the speed limit reduced to 20 mph around the school as well.”

The path links with National Cycle Route 13 and Sustrans director Nigel Brigham said getting children cycling and interested in environmentally-friendly methods of travel at an early age shaped their attitude to travel in adulthood.

It forms part of a much larger network of new cycle and foot paths being created this year by the county council at a cost of more than £3.5m.

A ribbon was cut by Norfolk County Council chairman Shelagh Gurney to officially open the path last Thursday along with children from the school and their bikes.

The youngsters who cycled or walked to school were all given bicycle bells and high-visibility straps to encourage them to make full use of the new facility.

Scarning Primary School holds its annual Christmas fete tomorrow (Friday) from 2pm. There will be Santa's Grotto, tombola, cake and sweet stalls, games, gift stalls and refreshments.

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