September 22nd, 2016

Redditch parents take action on bad parkers

Updated: 10:42 am, Sep 16, 2016

THE HAZARDOUS parking outside a Redditch school has got so bad the parents have been forced to set up an action group to patrol the nearby roads.

A team of 15 parents went out in the area around Oak Hill First School on Wednesday (September 14) for the first time in a bid to clamp down on the irresponsible and illegal parking, which included parking on the kerb, obstructing walkways and waiting on corners.

Their initial outing has been hailed a great success and they are now hoping it will provide a long-term solution.

Headteacher Lynn Kelly “The action group did brilliantly well and it already eased the issue.

“It is only a small handful of drivers causing the problem but because of the layout these few parents cause a lot of congestion.”

Prior to that one parent Sean Buffrey contacted The Standard about the issue because he felt nothing was being done.

He said he had tried to point out to motorists they were parking illegally but he was threatened and received a barrage of abuse.

Mr Buffrey has also spoke to Redditch Borough Council, the school’s headteacher and the police to report two alleged incidents of threatening and anti-social behaviour.

On one occasion, the hazards outside the school were so severe he refused to take his son and could now face action from the truancy office.

He asked the headteacher if staff could patrol the gates to keep the road in order but was told it was not possible.

“We do not have the staff capacity to have them outside the gates. That time when the children are coming into school and parents can talk to them about their child’s specific needs is so important,” added Miss Kelly,

“We are working closely with the council officers and PCSOs and have a sent a two page letter out to parents regarding the dangers of parking irresponsibly outside the school.”

Now it is hoped the parent action group will bring an end to the problem.

The trouble with parking outside schools is the police and council can only get involved at certain points.

Police officers can only intervene when a parked car is causing a danger to the public and council officers can only give out tickets when a person has left their car. Because many parents sit in their cars, a lot of the time, the council is powerless.

Redditch Borough Council enforces local traffic regulation orders on behalf of highways authority, Worcestershire County Council.

The council’s head of environmental services Guy Revans said a civil enforcement officer would be sent to the school and, accompanied by the police to talk to the parents about the restrictions.

He added single and double yellow lines were there to control parking and the council enforced those rules but they did not prevent the ‘loading and unloading’ of passengers.

Redditch Police Inspector Darren Webster said an incident relating to parking outside a school was currently being investigated.

And he said the town’s local police teams worked with schools and the local council to ensure parking was appropriate and safe and officers regularly patrolled near schools during their peak times.

“We would encourage all parents to park safely and legally when taking their children to school.”