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Illegal school parking could kill a Cheltenham child, police warn

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: March 15, 2013

Gloucestershire Constabulary

Comments (28)

CHILDREN could be killed if parents continue to park outside schools, police have warned.

The stark message comes from officers who have received reports of drivers flouting parking laws at peak school times in Cheltenham. There are fears parked vehicles could obstruct children's views as they are trying to cross the road – risking them being run down.

Issues at Berkhampstead School in Pittville sparked the warning, but a police spokeswoman said it was a problem across the borough.

Sergeant Mark Stephens said: "Police are aware of the parking problems at this school and virtually every other school.

"It is always a sensitive issue to address because, most often, the hazards caused by this inconsiderate parking are a consequence of parents delivering and collecting their children from school premises.

"Therefore, if parents were prepared to park more responsibly, the danger to their children and inconvenience to the community would be significantly reduced."

The warning issued by police said: "Currently cars are parking on double yellow lines, on zigzags and in front of drop-curbs.

"Not only can you incur a fine for this offence, but your parking could be a danger to a small child who is crossing the road. If cars are obstructing the roads and junctions near to the school, then children have less chance of seeing moving vehicles. This in turn could cause an accident and result in the injury, or in serious cases, death of a child.

"As parents are at the school to pick up their own children, we urge them to think about how they are driving and where they are parking, as one of those children injured could easily be their own."

Officers will be patrolling around schools in both the morning and evening to crack down on people parking illegally. Parents are encouraged to car-share or walk their children to school.

Charlotte Blanch, headteacher at St Thomas More Catholic Primary School, in Hester's Way, said parking was a problem at many schools, adding: "It's not as much of a problem here but we have just had a safety crossing with a lollipop man put in place to help the children cross the road.

"I think it's good the police are warning people about this."

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  • Wassisname  |  May 05 2013, 5:38PM

    No one minds parents picking their kids up. It is the ones, already referred to, who arrive anything up to an hour before and sit there doing crosswords or whatever. Can't they go and do some shopping till school kicks out!

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  • Ysedra  |  May 05 2013, 4:12AM

    If Martin Surl can throw thousands, even hundreds of thousands of pounds to local groups, he can certainly pony up the money to set up a scheme to deal with these dangerous drivers. There are no excuses now, Martin...

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  • bonnie54  |  May 04 2013, 5:40PM

    This certainly isn't the only school. St Greg's is just as bad with parents parking on double yellow lines, which are being ignored, even when notices are going out to them telling them to stop. There have been many near misses of children almost being run over. Waitrose has given permission for parents to park there but they are too lazy to walk the couple of minutes to the school. When police patrol the area, all they do is tell the parents off! if they gave out tickets perhaps the perpetrators would think twice about keep breaking the law.

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  • Wassisname  |  May 04 2013, 2:31PM

    Well, surely a daily, ready made source of revenue for the Council (or whoever gets the benefit of fines) but do you ever see a 'hobby bobby' lurking at that time of the day? Not a chance.

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  • DimebagDarryl  |  May 03 2013, 7:37PM

    I live opposite a busy primary school and the school is placed at a dead end. The school has a huge playing field which they barely use and could be very usefully converted into ample parking space for parents but this has never happened. Instead, the parents park anywhere they can find - all of the immediately surrounding streets are jam packed. There would be no way in hell that an ambulance could make it up to the school at morning/afternoon periods. As a resident, I always have children ringing my door-bell, sometimes moving the wipers on my car, parents always parking outside my house. If I am returning home for anywhere between 2:15-3:45 (yes, parents get there often an hour early and just sit there), then I have to go for a drive down to a local supermarket to park up and wait for them to leave. I am seriously considering moving because of it because nothing will be done - even when a child is killed nothing will be done. I agree that parents are lazy because I know for a fact that many of them live within walking distance. And it is utterly inconsiderate. One time I had to park on another street entirely because I needed to get back to my house, and as I put the key in the lock I glared at the woman parked with her huge people-carrier in the space outside my house, nearly an hour before school was due to finish. It's madness.

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  • Wassisname  |  March 17 2013, 10:27AM

    Is there not some onus on the schools themselves to ask parents to only drive up to the school if absolutely necessary? Should they not be encouraging the kids to walk to school? I don't remember my parents taking me to school every day, and certainly not in the car.

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  • mrangryguy  |  March 16 2013, 7:12PM

    I live opposite a school and regularly have inconsiderate people park across the drive they are only interested in getting the children to school with as little inconvenience to themselves as possible. A regular but random visit by the Police or Traffic Wardens issuing tickets would solve the problem but it never happens, so I don't know why the Police are commenting on it.

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  • aproperparent  |  March 16 2013, 3:15PM

    "a lot is lazy parents go to rowanfield" , Comments illiterate Paul. Really, all these parents in pyjamas talking about Jeremy Kyle? How do you know what they are talking about? A lot of the parents at Rowanfield are intelligent, educated people, who have a lot more going on in their lives, than you give them credit for. Yabbing...what sort of expression is that? Yes the parking is really bad there, but blasting your horn will not help the issue, or the neighbours!!

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  • Wassisname  |  March 16 2013, 8:58AM

    So if all the Wardens never get out of town to deal with this then presumably it is an underemployment problem, or "challenge" as we now have to call it. What a wonderful way to get people back into work in a cost effective way. Unfortunately this does not fit in with Government plans to decimate public sector jobs.

  • Saffy  |  March 15 2013, 9:44PM

    I agree totally and I am a mum who takes 4 children to school everyday and see the mayhem around school that it causes...here I take mine in fair view it is utter madness...unfortunately people won't stop.they are too busy trying to get to work,or wherever etc.some of them don't even get out if the car just literally stop in the middle of the road. And mainly it's not the working parents,just lazy parents....if needed for getting to work on time then lift share,but where possible,and driving is not essential for work or a really important appointment walk your children to elevate the traffic...if you live to far to walk,your children shouldn't be at that school

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