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'We're not being mean we just want to keep everyone safe" - Calls to stop 'dangerous' parking near school

PUBLISHED: 15:35 10 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:35 10 January 2020

Despite numerous parking signs West Walton Primary School is still having parking issues. Photo: Casey Cooper-Fiske

Despite numerous parking signs West Walton Primary School is still having parking issues. Photo: Casey Cooper-Fiske

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Campaigners trying to stop "dangerous" parking which has been going on at a school since it opened, have told parents to put safety first when collecting their children.

Despite numerous parking signs West Walton Primary School is still having parking issues. Photo: Casey Cooper-FiskeDespite numerous parking signs West Walton Primary School is still having parking issues. Photo: Casey Cooper-Fiske

West Walton Primary School has seen a number of near misses between cars which have parked on zig-zag lines outside, and children leaving the school, according to local councillor Sandra Squire who is trying to implement sanctions for those parking irresponsibly.

She added that those parked on the lines were also obscuring the line of site for those with priority parking as they have disabled children, meaning these parents often parked further down the road despite having marked area directly outside the school set aside for them.

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On Thursday, the councillor took to the streets outside the school to speak to parents alongside a community police officer, and said just the officer's presence was enough to stop rogue parkers.

Despite numerous parking signs West Walton Primary School is still having parking issues. Photo: Casey Cooper-FiskeDespite numerous parking signs West Walton Primary School is still having parking issues. Photo: Casey Cooper-Fiske

Ms Squire said she had used some of her highways budget to install clearway signs in front of the zig zag lines, however as the council had not informed police, these went unenforced for months and added that police were rarely able to, due to other commitments. Now she is looking to put in place a Traffic Restriction Order, which could be enforced by the council's own traffic wardens.

She said: "They know they're not supposed to park there, we're not being mean we just want to keep everyone safe. I know it's not ideal to park further down the road but it's better to be safe."

Headteacher Alison Bailey says her school has set up a Pupil Parking Patrol in response to the incidents, which sees students accompanied by adults as they go out in the morning and evening to issue "parking tickets" to those on the zig zag lines. She says some adults are more open to criticism from children although there are still some drivers that are bad tempered.

Ms Bailey said: "It's a difficult situation, we're right next to a high school and we both start and finish at the same time, which leads to people parking close to the zig zags and in the priority area without a badge."

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