School parking - views from parents and residents

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We received a number of anonymous letters about last week’s front page story concerning parking around William Parker School. We normally try to avoid printing anonymous letters, but as we received so many, here are two of the letters with opposing viewpoints.

I LIVE in Ashby Road and fully support the ‘Chaos’ theory around school times.

Far too many parents of the schools are selfish, careless and down right rude.

There are plenty of parking facilities at the community centre and at the old swimming pool site at the bottom of Ashby Road – of course that would mean a short walk for their little darlings.

I have had my driveway blocked on countless occasions – when I challenge parents I’m either greeted by a shrug, ignored or verbally abused.

The road is dangerous outside school times too, as far too many drivers speed up the road, many ignoring the crossings. We need traffic calming, enforced parking restrictions, clearer instructions from the school where to park and for parents to be less lazy and more considerate.

The councils should also do more to encourage parents to use alternative methods of getting their kids to school such as buses, or indeed, their own two feet.

Resident of Ashby Road

I READ last week’s cover story ‘Chaos’ with interest since my child attends William Parker School.

Most afternoons I meet him in Mayfield Drive due to having been unable to find a space within the Phoenix Centre car park in the past.

I usually arrive just before 3.20pm and have rarely found there to be ‘chaos’ or any difficulty in accessing this particular road, nor witnessed other waiting parents to be blocking driveways.

There is a busy period of approximately eight to 10 minutes from 3.20pm as several hundred students vacate the school from the main gate, and dissipate their separate ways.

On occasion it does take a few seconds longer and some patience on the driver’s part to get back out onto Ashby Road from Mayfield Drive, and I have personally found this being due to parents who choose to park at or within a few feet of the junction obstructing the flow of traffic.

This particular problem seems to be exacerbated at the junction opposite where Hawthorn Drive/The Firs meets Ashby Road, and the huge numbers of students endeavouring to cross that road.

Issues of parents parking in the streets surrounding schools is endemic up and down the country, and unfortunately is surely to be expected when one lives within a stone’s throw of a school (in this instance, three schools) without dedicated parking facilities.

With regard to the comments in your report regarding parents verbally abusing local residents, of course this is not acceptable. Nor is the colourful language I was threatened with by a local resident several months ago as I was driving out of Mayfield Drive, advising that the road is private and I had no right to be there!

I am not aware of it being a private road and stand to be corrected if it is.

There is always going to be a higher likelihood of accidents when huge numbers of students are coming out of school and there are drivers who choose to drive at or above the 30mph speed limit, some with no intention of stopping at the zebra crossings for pedestrians.

Ditto those students and parents who step straight onto a zebra crossing without checking.

My oldest child’s school in Rugby, organises teaching staff outside the school for a few minutes at the beginning and end of the school day to keep an eye on students – in the absence of the ‘lollipop’ assistants of years gone by, maybe this is something to be considered by the schools on Ashby Road?

Parent of William Parker student

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