Pupils attending a village primary school have had a safer start to the new term following the installation of a new £350,000 crossing.
Children going to the Middleton Primary School used the crossing on the A47 for the first time yesterday as the school re-opened after the summer break.
Work on the project was completed by the Highways Agency last week, marking the end of a long-running campaign by community leaders for improved safety measures.
Public pressure began for a bypass around Middleton as long ago as 1946 and reached a peak in 1991 following the death of 87-year-old May Key.
Mrs Key was killed as she crossed the A47 on the way to her grandson’s wedding. Petitions were addressed to MP Henry Bellingham and Transport Minister Malcolm Rifkind but funds for a bypass were never available.
Representations over recent years saw Norfolk County Council place the crossing on its agenda. The school estimates that around half of the pupils who live in the village have to cross the A47 to get from their homes to lessons.
And headteacher Claire Bunton said the situation became so bad that school leaders decided they would only take children to use the village church, which is on the other side of the A47 from the school, if the police stopped the traffic.
Mrs Bunton, who has worked at the school for five years, said: “I wasn’t sure if it would ever happen.
“It’s great to have the peace of mind the children can cross the road safely.”