Home   Ashford   News   Article

Neighbours in Highfield Road, Willesborough, frustrated by school-run parking and driving

Frustrated neighbours say “rude and lazy” school-run parents are making their lives hell by parking and driving recklessly.

Residents in Highfield Road, Ashford, say vehicles are regularly left on double-yellow lines, across dropped kerbs and even on driveways by people dropping children at the nearby Willesborough Schools.

A car parked dangerously on double-yellow lines and over the junction of Highfield Road and Ripley Road
A car parked dangerously on double-yellow lines and over the junction of Highfield Road and Ripley Road

They add cars are also driven at high-speed at peak times, with one woman’s vehicle recently damaged in a hit-and-run, but efforts to challenge the thoughtless motorists are met with hostility.

Retired hospital worker Maureen Wood, who has lived in the street for 30 years, says the issue has never been so bad.

"People parking on drop kerbs is definitely the worst thing - especially when my husband and I need to go to the hospital for an appointment,” the 71-year-old said.

"But it's the fact parents are so rude and disrespectful about it when you ask them to consider parking elsewhere.

"Many are lazy and could easily walk because we see them nearby.

Neighbours say congestion outside their homes in Highfield Road lasts for hours every day
Neighbours say congestion outside their homes in Highfield Road lasts for hours every day

"I understand parents have to work, but they can still be more considerate.”

Mrs Wood says her Peugeot 107 was recently hit by another car during the school run, causing more than £180 of damage, but the person responsible drove off.

"I had to take it to ATS Euromaster in Mace Lane and it cost me £112 for a new taillight and £70 for a new tyre because both were damaged.”

The Willesborough Schools Federation has featured both an infant and junior school on the site for more than 70 years.

The former has 357 pupils aged five to seven, while the latter has another 511 up to the age of 11.

Sylvia Lilley says parents have parked on her drive in Highfield Road in the past
Sylvia Lilley says parents have parked on her drive in Highfield Road in the past

Resident Sylvia Lilley says the result is too many vehicles in the area at school-run times, with not enough being done to crack down on nuisance parking.

"Parents leave it so late and park anywhere,” said the 54-year-old, who has lived in Highfield Road for 19 years.

"They also block me in and park on drives, which is obviously not on at all.

"It means kids and people with pushchairs have to walk in the road, which just isn't acceptable.

"Fire engines also have no chance of getting past either because of cars parked opposite each other.

Traffic wardens have been spotted patrolling outside the Willesborough Schools - but residents say this is a rarity
Traffic wardens have been spotted patrolling outside the Willesborough Schools - but residents say this is a rarity

"So traffic wardens should be here more often, as once every six months is just once in a blue moon.

"There are also some unpleasant interactions when neighbours speak to people.

"My husband and I just really look forward to the summer holidays now as it is so peaceful.”

School bosses say they are aware of the ongoing issues and the impact on neighbours, saying they regularly write to parents reminding them to park considerately.

They add they have worked with Kent Council Council to recruit two “school crossing patrol officers” - what were once known as lollipop ladies or men - in the hope more children will feel confident about walking to school.

“It is important to us we are respectful of other people living in the area, and we regularly write to parents in our school newsletters to remind people to be courteous when parking,” a spokesperson said.

Resident Luke Jones says ‘logic goes out of the window’ during peak hours
Resident Luke Jones says ‘logic goes out of the window’ during peak hours

But Luke Jones, who lives in the road, believes more action needs to be taken.

"When people are looking for a space, logic does go out of the window here,” the 31-year-old said.

"It's difficult getting in and out the drive, and when my dad has hospital appointments it can become a problem.

"It's not getting any better though, so some action definitely needs to be taken.

"Parents who act like this show it's convenient for them at the expense of convenience for homeowners.”

A van parked on double-yellow lines in Highfield Road, Willesborough, where residents are growing increasingly frustrated about thoughtless parking
A van parked on double-yellow lines in Highfield Road, Willesborough, where residents are growing increasingly frustrated about thoughtless parking

Neighbour John McLachlan believes installing something like speed humps could help solve the issue with speeding.

The 62-year-old explained: “Children are always going to be running around when they've finished school because they're excited.

"When that happens there is of course a worry about them getting hit.

"So I think a good deterrent could be to put speed humps in the road, like they do in Ulley Road in Kennington.

"That would make the road slower, which is the most important thing to keep kids safe.

The Willesborough Schools can be accessed via Highfield Road. Picture: Google Earth
The Willesborough Schools can be accessed via Highfield Road. Picture: Google Earth

"If a driver goes over one and damages their car then you know they won't drive fast again."

When the Express visited Highfield Road, two traffic wardens were patrolling the area.

A spokesman for Ashford Borough Council said: “Our civil enforcement officers try to patrol the schools during drop off and pick up times as often as possible.

“However, as you can appreciate, there are many schools in the Ashford and Tenterden area, so they are unable to be there every day.

“We have not received high levels of complaints for this location.”

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More