Parents' fury over city's 'most dangerous road'
- Credit: Denise Bradley
"It is only a matter of time before a child gets seriously injured or worse" - that is the stark message from a group of terrified parents who live near a danger junction.
And after a spate of crashes it has been dubbed "Norwich's most dangerous road".
A petition has been set up demanding speed bumps or other traffic calming measures after smashes near the junction of Cunningham Road and Scarnell Road, in West Earlham.
On Wednesday the air ambulance was called to a crash involving a motorbike and a car.
West Earlham Infant School and West Earlham Junior School are both located nearby and parents fear one of their kids will soon be injured by drivers whizzing up and down the road.
Rachel Davis, 32, who has four children at schools in the area, has now launched a campaign urging drivers to slow down.
She said: "People strongly believe something needs to be done. Cars are bombing up and down here all the time.
"I had been standing on the corner with the kids just five minutes before the crash the other day.
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"A lot of cars park along here during school times which does not help with visibility."
Mrs Davis, who lives in Shepherd Close, now has more than 170 signatures backing her call for action.
One of those signatures was from Mark Calaz, 36. Last year a car lost control and smashed through his garden fence at the corner of Cunningham Road and Scarnell Road.
Mr Calaz said: "One kid was racing along here and skidded through my fence. This junction is a massive concern."
Amanda Herrmann, 44, who has three kids at the West Earlham schools has previously volunteered to be a lollypop lady because she was so worried about road safety.
But she was told this was not possible due to a lack of funding.
Mrs Hermann said: "When all the cars are parked on the verge you do struggle to see through them when pulling out at the junction.
"If someone is coming along here at 50mph you stand no chance. It's chaos."
Another concerned parent Maria Bell, 46, who has an 11-year-old daughter and nine-year-old granddaughter living in the area, said: "I am surprised a kid has not been hit or even killed.
"Seeing the air ambulance here was horrendous. I honestly thought the motorcyclist was dead. They had to cut a woman out of the car."
Fire crews from Earlham, Carrow and Sprowston were called to the accident in addition to the air ambulance at the time.
Aimee Cottrell, who lives in Cunningham Road with her six kids, provided a chair for a woman involved in the crash.
She recalled her husband shouting at one speeding driver to slow down after becoming frustrated with the "constant sight of cars racing" along the route.
And Shelly Wilson-Day, 34, was recently walking with her seven-year-old daughter to school along Cunningham Road when they were nearly hit by a reversing taxi as they tried to cross the road.
"I do think this road is manic at school times," she said.
Some parents have said they would like to see a pedestrian crossing in addition to speedbumps after seeing at least one accident a month at the junction.
County councillor Paul Neale (Green) has arranged for flashing speed monitors along Earlham Road.
He said: "Sadly, speeding traffic in Norwich is all too often an occurrence, sometimes deliberate, sometimes a lack of concentration.
"Motorists need to understand that travelling above a speed limit by five to 10mph greatly increases the likelihood of death to a child involved in a collision by an enormous amount."
Clive Lewis, MP for Norwich South said: "Every child should be able to walk to every school safely. It is close to immoral that parents have to struggle so hard to keep their kids safe.
"A decade or so ago, a combination of the councils and police would have been able to get this sorted quickly.
"But now, after years of swingeing cuts to public services the safety of children is effectively being rationed."
Andrew Ellis, highways area manager, said: “Our team work closely with local communities to bring forward road safety improvements where evidence suggests that this is required in a particular location.
"We carefully consider all petitions submitted to us following our standard petitions policy and we will take a close look at the details of the request when we receive it.”