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.
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.”