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School warns parents their parking is putting children at risk

PUBLISHED: 15:37 24 September 2018 | UPDATED: 20:16 24 September 2018

Westfield Infant & Nursery School in Watton has warned parents their parking is a danger to children. Picture: Simon Parkin

Westfield Infant & Nursery School in Watton has warned parents their parking is a danger to children. Picture: Simon Parkin

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A Norfolk school has written to parents warning that pupils are being put at risk by dangerous parking.

Traffic congestion at morning dropping off time at Westfield Infant & Nursery School in Watton. Picture: Simon ParkinTraffic congestion at morning dropping off time at Westfield Infant & Nursery School in Watton. Picture: Simon Parkin

Each morning and afternoon the otherwise quiet roads around Westfield Infant and Nursery School in Watton become clogged with traffic as parents drop off and pick up children.

People living beside the school have launched a campaign urging it to do more to tackle long-running problems with parents’ parking.

Now in a letter sent out to parents last week, the school stated: “Our priority is the safety of the children and we are very concerned that a child may be injured if the parking problem persists.

Residents around Westfield Infant & Nursery School in Watton has launched a campaign for action on parking issues. Picture: Simon ParkinResidents around Westfield Infant & Nursery School in Watton has launched a campaign for action on parking issues. Picture: Simon Parkin

“We are also losing a significant amount of staff time to responding to parking complaints, which should be spent working with the children.”

Head of school Helen Kemp said: “With it being September we are advising our new parents not to park on double yellow lines and make sure that we leave driveways clear and for everyone to be considerate.

“Parking outside any school is probably an issue but we are working very hard to make sure that our parents are parking considerately.”

Traffic congestion at morning dropping off time at Westfield Infant & Nursery School in Watton. Picture: Simon ParkinTraffic congestion at morning dropping off time at Westfield Infant & Nursery School in Watton. Picture: Simon Parkin

Residents in nearby North, South, West and George Trollope Roads have complained of driveways being blocked and motorists parking in private bays and on yellow lines.

Caroline Moulton, who lives in West Road, has started a campaign called Say No to highlight residents’ frustrations. “Myself and others have come to our wits’ end with parents parking wherever they wish when dropping off or picking up their children from the school,” she said.

William Jenkins, who lives in South Road, added: “It’s been a problem around here for a long time but it seems to have been getting worse in the last couple of years. Something needs to be done to sort it out.”

Westfield Infant & Nursery School head Helen Kemp, right, with Alex Lightbown, executive head of the Covus Education Trust. Picture: Covus Education TrustWestfield Infant & Nursery School head Helen Kemp, right, with Alex Lightbown, executive head of the Covus Education Trust. Picture: Covus Education Trust

Tina Carter, who has lived on West Road for eight years, said on one occasion an ambulance had been unable to drop her off at her home. “They ended up having to push me in a wheelchair down the middle of the road,” she said. “When I have people visiting or friends coming to see me they can’t park or get blocked in. It’s ridiculous.”

Mrs Kemp said the school was trying to address residents concerns. “That is why I have been in contact with highways authority, I have attended town council meetings on the issue and I am in constant discussions with the police,” she said.

“We are just making sure that we are doing everything that we can as a school to support the local residents and make sure that our children are safe.”

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