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A6003 road closure for Network Rail bridge repairs sparks safety concerns near Brooke Hill Academy in Oakham

Police officers and school staff have introduced extra safety measures following an increase in traffic caused by the closure of the A6003.

The main road between Oakham and Uppingham was closed on April 12 for Network Rail to replace the bridge at Manton.

The restrictions are expected to last until July, with a lengthy diversion taking motorists via the A606 and A47 towards Stamford.

The railway bridge across the A6003 at Manton
The railway bridge across the A6003 at Manton

Many drivers have been seeking a shorter route through the villages, causing an increase in traffic.

The area around Brooke Hill Academy in Oakham has become particularly congested.

Police officers have been carrying out patrols this week and will continue to do so until the main road reopens.

Police on patrol at Brooke Hill Academy
Police on patrol at Brooke Hill Academy

A spokesman for Leicestershire Police said: “A plan is in place for the duration of the closure of the A6003, which sees officers supporting residents and Brooke Hill School with extra patrols.

“Since the road closure, motorists have been avoiding the diversion and using a short cut which has had an impact on the amount of traffic travelling by the school.

“Officers have been in the vicinity offering reassurance and addressing any issues.

“This police presence will continue for the duration of the repairs.”

Parents have praised school staff for their extra efforts to keep pupils safe.

They say a new one-way system has been introduced in the mornings and afternoons to keep children away from the road, and more staff are on hand to guide the children as they arrive and leave.

One parent, who asked not to be named, said: “The road is extremely busy outside the school gates and woodland car park at the moment.

“There are vans and small lorries using the route which isn’t ideal for such small roads.

“The school has done everything it can to limit children walking near traffic as much as possible.”

Another parent added: “Traffic is always bad outside the school because there is a lot of on-street parking, but they have taken a lot of steps to keep the children safe.

“It’s having a knock-on effect in the town centre too.”

Network Rail said the £2.8m project to rebuild the bridge at Manton is essential to allow train services to continue safely for future generations.

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