Inconsiderate parking causing danger to schoolchildren, says Newington headteacher

Road safety at Newington

Motorists parking on pavements and grass verges in the area outside Newington Community Primary in Ramsgate are a danger to children and families on their way to and from school, says headteacher Hannah Tudor.

Miss Tudor is very concerned about the problem and has urged drivers to be far more safety aware.

She said: “Some parents have again raised the issue of inconsiderate parking outside the school and this is another plea for drivers to park safely and considerately.

“We are now working very closely with Thanet Council to manage the situation and we need families to urgently take note of certain important issues.”

Miss Tudor outlines the school’s stance in her latest newsletter to all families, posing these questions.

She asks: ‘Do you need to park on the pavement? If so, can a person with a pram or a child in a wheelchair get past?’

‘Do you have to park so close to the school gates? Are there other places, slightly further away that you could park?’

‘Do you need to park on grass verges? Children are not equipped to navigate cars parked on green spaces. We teach our girls and boys that these areas are safe and they should be – cars should not be parked on them.’

‘Do you need to park on corners and bends in the road? This makes it challenging for other road users and puts children in danger when they are trying to cross the road.’

‘Do you need to bring the car at all? If we reduce the cars, we reduce the problem!’

Last month Newington reinforced road safety for its children by linking with Kent County Council to deliver workshops designed to engage youngsters from Reception through to Year 6.

The school says that with the increasing volume of traffic as well as the new potential dangers posed by ‘silent’ electric cars, it is vital that children of all age groups must have a structured learning programme to boost the ongoing road safety messages.

Operation ZigZag

A Thanet council spokesperson said: “Irresponsible and illegal parking in and around school grounds can cause serious problems for pedestrians and other road users, restricting access for vital emergency services, and can even be fatal. We always ask that vehicle users are vigilant of their surroundings and make the right decisions when parking. Your choice could easily save somebody’s life.

“A multi-agency event, Operation ZigZag, is due to take place at Newington Primary in January 2022, to warn drivers of the dangers of hazardous parking. The roads outside this particular school have zigzag lines and there are no other enforceable areas where we can issue Penalty Charge Notices. For example, our Civil Enforcement Officers cannot move on vehicles that are parked on pavements or blocking residential driveways. These issues should be reported to Kent Police.

“Thanet District Council’s Civil Enforcement Officers attend all schools in the district at peak times in the morning and afternoons and are working on a CCTV scheme which will be piloted at a number of schools next year.”

24 Comments

  1. This is a problem at all schools not just newington primary and it’s not just outside schools, everyone seems to think they can park on pavements.

    • Surely the simple approach would be for schools to highlight the issue to the pupils during assembly every Monday morning.

      The children can then shame their parents/guardians or whoever takes them to school to act more responsibly by either walking or parking sensibly.

  2. Motorists are entitled to park where ever they want, whenever they want. That’s why they pay road tax.
    Children’s safety put at risk? Not a problem for the parent who got there first, and parked on the pavement outside the school gates. Their children are ok, and that’s all that matters.

  3. It’s not just Newington, it’s all over Thanet people don’t realise that it’s against the law to park and obstruct the public footpaths,but not too worry the police just turn a blind eye.

  4. People who park on paths and grass verges are selfish and only care about themselves, this kind of person will park in disabled bays because they are lazy and afraid to walk,you will find as well they have got the biggest car they can find, for this kind of person maybe schools should put in drive tru so they wouldn’t have to get out of the car at all .

    • I’m 100% with that but it needs to cover all of thanet ,if you park on a paths or grass verges on the spot fine ,it’s time to take back our footpaths and grass verges.

      • Apparently there is no law against parking on the pavement or verges ( london has restrictions on pavement parking under other regulations i believe) So law needs changing. Causing an obstruction would be another matter but again i understand its hard to enforce.

        • It is not an offence to park on the pavement. But it *is* an offence to drive on the pavement! However, in order for action to be taken, an officer has to see the vehicle actually being driven.
          It is an offence to obstruct the pavement. And it filled my heart with joy to see (a couple of years ago) a whole row of cars, completely blocking the pavement on Church Road Ramsgate, all with tickets.

  5. Just fining people for inappropriate parking means nothing to the ignoramouses who think the paths and grass areas are just extra parking for them. I live in Newington and am a wheelchair user I now make it a habit to go out AFTER 09:30 in the morning to go to Tesco as people with these big cars are parked on the pavement. It seems that the car park at the community centre (across the road from the school) is too far to walk as the car park has normally got 2-3 cars in it if that. I agree whole heartedly that it is at ALL area NOT JUST SCHOOLS but then we are called moaners or busy bodies when we complain to the drivers for this inconsiderate parkin.
    O.K. rant over.

    • Christine you have every right to have a rant,every day I have the same problem when I’m out walking my dog ,vehicles parked on the paths all the time, last night this guy pulled right up on the path in front of me then got out of the car and went in doors, l had to walk in the road ,contacted TDC and was told they can’t do anything about it, so you rant girl it’s time to act .

        • Obstruction of the Highway (which can include pavement/footpath) is a matter for the police. They will try to pass it off saying its a council matter, but it is not. TDC officers can only enforce where parking restrictions are contravened.

  6. And just think how much less pollution there would be if the kids walked. No gridlocking. Kids say we need to save the planet and environment as taught in school etc as they get driven to school in big 4×4’s !. If these parents cared about the planet they are leaving their kids why drive them ?.

    Walk, cycle, bus.

  7. most of the time its old trouts in thier 4 x 4 ,s with a fur coat and sun glasses posing outside of the schools , dont kids have legs anymore ?

  8. There are some very large lazy kids about now who either spend all their time on electric scooters or being driven around constantly. Need to get back to basics and stop expectations of having some type of a right to be ferried about.
    Saying that though, the schools that have plenty of unused space should have drive in and drop of or pick up facilities so they are not blocking the streets outside. And there needs to be some sort of collaboration between local authorities and the police to enforce the ‘No stopping’ regulations outside the schools.

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