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Home Sheerness News Article
Minster primary has a problem with motorists stopping outside to drop off and collect their children.
PTA member and data manager at the Brecon Chase school Karen Nixon says the problem is in front of the Minster Road entrance.
Although she praised most parents, she said a minority were causing issues by stopping on the yellow zigzag lines, parking over neighbours’ pathways and driveways and leaving their vehicles on grass verges.
Even the school’s lollipop lady is having difficulty seeing traffic coming either way because of the number of cars parked, increasing concerns that there may be an accident.
The school has also had complaints from neighbours whose access to their homes is being blocked.
Mrs Nixon says it has become more of a headache as the school has increased by about 90 pupils in the last three years and there is not enough parking.
She said: “It’s just a minority – most of our parents are sensible, helpful and safety conscious.
“But our lollipop lady can’t see up and down the road because of the cars parked and is having trouble crossing – it could be potentially dangerous.
“We are trying to help parents and neighbours and feel sorry for them but the children’s safety is our main concern.”
She says in the past the lollipop lady had confronted the drivers but they would not always move.
The school has tried to tackle the problem through its newsletter, handing out flyers and talking about it in assembly, but nothing has worked.
So now it has turned to Swale council, Minster Parish Council and the police for help in the hope of getting fines issued to those who park illegally or inconsiderately.
“I think the only thing that will stop them is ticketing,” Mrs Nixon added.
A spokesman for Swale council said its parking team had asked a representative from APCOA, its contracted enforcement agency, to visit the school to help improve the situation and make sure zigzag markings were adhered to. However, the council has no legal enforcement powers where obstruction of the highway occurs.
Ken Ingleton, who lives in Minster Road and is also a parish councillor, described the situation as a total nightmare.
“It virtually stops the traffic entirely at school times because there are cars parked both sides of the road,” he said. "In some cases buses can’t get through.
“Parents seem to have this fixation with getting as close to the gates as possible and some arrive up to an hour before the pick-up time just to get a space.
“There’s a reasonably big public car park [by the Gatehouse Museum] a couple of hundred yards away.”
Mr Ingleton says the situation is exacerbated by parents parking their cars on either side of the road and then taking their children out into the middle of the road rather than onto the pavement, so blocking even more of the road.
A police spokesman said: “We would urge motorists to park considerately and advise those dropping children off at school to avoid parking in bus lanes, on pavements and on double yellow or zigzag lines.
“Dangerous and obstructive parking can be dealt with by council wardens and police officers who will advise drivers to move their car to a legal place, issue a fine or in some cases have the car removed.”
A Kent County Council spokesman said the authority had no enforcement powers but was looking at county-wide measures to remind parents of the importance of parking safely.
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