There aren’t many road crossings that have their own name, but the brand new Clarkson Crossing in Ipswich Road Woodbridge is very different. For a start, it’s probably the only one in Suffolk – maybe in the country – that local students have helped plan, design and name, in a joint project with Suffolk County Highway Engineers and their County Councillor! Today students from Farlingaye school, together with Farlingaye Deputy Head Graham Smith, came out in force to help unveil a specially designed plaque to commemorate their collaboration, live on James Hazell’s radio show.
The Ipswich road has become increasingly busy over the years and I have been very keen to provide a crossing, since I was elected, two and a half years ago. Althought I had earmarked the money from my Quality of Life budget, and gained agreement for it to go ahead, we were uncertain what would be the best solution. Huge congratulations are due to the public-spirited students of Farlingaye High School who kick-started the final phase when they investigated difficulties in walking/cycling to school last year. This led to Suffolk’s Highway Engineers working with the students to look together at how this problem could be solved within the money available -to provide a solution that was fit for purpose.
Working together, the Engineers and the students established that a refuge island would best fit the problem and the bill. The students helped work out where it would have to be sited, and – as a last idea – they christened it. Today they helped unveil a specially designed commemorative plaque to officially open the Clarkson Crossing live on Radio Suffolk.
The road is not only a school route crossing point, but it is also a crossing point for bus users (many of them elderly), other pedestrians, and for National Cycle Route 1.
“For years children and their parents have crossed the Ipswich Road on the way to and from school but each year, this has got more difficult with more and more traffic going faster and faster. It was becoming a daily battle . The worst thing was you could never find a gap in both streams of traffic at the same time. With the new crossing, you don’t have to! And having that island in the middle of the road is also slowing the traffic down.” Ipswich Road Resident
Here, the young people of Woodbridge have shown their elders something important: that if you think ‘something should be done’, the answer is often in your hands!
This project started a long time before people started talking about the ‘Big Society’ To my mind it’s what we people in Suffolk just call ‘society’ – and society working as it ought to!