ILLEGAL and dangerous parking outside of a primary school has sparked fear for student safety, report outraged parents.
Local parents whose children attend St Mark’s Primary in Southampton are growing concerned about the number of cars parking on pavements at drop-off and pick-up times and what this means for their kids’ safety.
The families claim that the ongoing parking is as terrible as it has always been, and have appealed to the school and Freemantle council to take stronger steps to help safeguard their children.
Claire McClean, a mum to one of the school’s students, said: “While I am dropping off my daughter at school, it gets too busy and I find it frustrating.
“What if there is a car coming and I am not holding my daughter’s hand and something happens?”
One mum, Ellie Quick, said that some cars are completely blocking access to the school with their parking, and even drive on the pavement’s when their kids are leaving school.
Ellie said: “We have noticed illegal parking outside and around all the time. It’s been going on for years.
People shouldn’t be driving on the pavement and blocking it.”
They believe cameras and cones should be installed to stop cars coming down the road outside of the school, to protect their children when they start and finish school.
James Racheter, whose children attend St Mark’s, said he’s growing more concerned as the parking situation gets worse.
He told the Daily Echo: “I hate it with passion. I am starting to get a little bit concerned about this road.
“I think blocking the road as they do at Freemantle school would be a nice idea.
James said that the school should get more volunteers and put up a temporary fence blocking access to the road during school pick-up and drop-off times.
He added: “I think it is going to take a bit of adjustment for the residents as well as they will experience a lot of extra people around.”
Local councillors say they are doing their best to deal with the issue as the concerns continue to grow.
Freemantle ward councillor, Steve Leggett, said there are conflicts with local businesses, so it’s not as simple as just closing the road, but they have a number of options they are looking into.
He said, “There are many local independent businesses clustered in this area and we have conflicts between cars parking on pavements and causing obstacles to pedestrians, so we are starting a campaign to improve safety.
“With the new St Mark’s primary school opening last week and the sports hall and secondary school due to open later this year, Freemantle councillors were successful in gaining over £500K of extra investment for road safety improvement measures in and around this same area.”
Meanwhile, Councillor Jeremy Moulton, Deputy Leader of Southampton City Council and Cabinet Member for Growth, said he’s working on installing more crossings to make it safer for students trying to navigate the busy street.
He said: “We are aware of parking pressures in the area, and we are actively working with St Mark’s and the local community, as part of the school expansion, to develop options that will make it easier and safer for parents and children to travel to school.
“So far, we have delivered two new crossings on Shirley Road near Dyer Road and on Howard Road near Stafford Road.
“We have also installed five new continuous crossings at junctions on Shirley Road and Howard Road. Work on these continuous crossings will be completed by March 2022, when a textured print will be installed.”