Saturday, 21 July 2018

School-run parents ‘drive dangerously and park badly’

PARENTS have been accused of driving and parking irresponsibly when picking up and collecting their children

PARENTS have been accused of driving and parking irresponsibly when picking up and collecting their children from school.

Residents want action taken against drivers who misuse Grove Road in Sonning Common, home of the village primary school.

Dick Bradford, 74, who lives in the road, says the problem is particularly acute at the start and end of the school day as drivers park too near junctions, obstruct pavements and drive dangerously.

He said: “I am very impressed by the speed and skill that some parents show when weaving in and out of the parked cars and I hope their reactions are as fast if a child runs out.

“If drivers observed the no parking 10m from a junction rule it would help and traffic flow would be safer if they left larger gaps for moving cars to use as passing places and allowed residents enough room to get their cars out.

“If a few more drivers showed consideration to others, obeyed the traffic rules and did not drive as if their child is safe in their car, and if they were booked for offences, I reckon it would solve a lot of daily problems.”

Sandra Allan, who has lived in Grove Road for 10 years, said she expects more traffic because she lives near the school but that drivers are irresponsible.

“Drivers do bob in and out and children can run ahead of parents,” she said. “People should drive slowly — at around 10mph. You can’t stop children running or taking scooters to school.

“There was a solution trialled with parents parking at the Herb Farm and that worked for a bit.”

Jane Arch, who also lives in Grove Road, said: “The road isn’t just full at the start and end of the school day — it’s used throughout the day.

“There isn’t five minutes when there are not cars parked all round here. Parking can be difficult for residents if they have visitors.

“Cars do have to weave in and out but speeding isn’t an issue because there are so many cars parked, there isn’t a chance to speed.”

Roy Hughes, who lives in Lea Road, which is off Grove Road, said: “Parking is a problem most of the time.

“People don’t seem to park carefully. They don’t leave space for another car when they could. If they parked more considerately outside the school it would help.

“I haven’t got a car but I do have visitors and they need to park somewhere.”

John Crowley, who lives in Wood Lane but often walks along Grove Road, said: “It’s terrible — really very bad. People drive too fast and are too inconsiderate when they stop to drop children off. They stop anywhere and do not care about other people.”

Chris Hirst, the school’s headteacher, said: “The school has nearly 400 pupils. We have worked hard with police to make sure people are parking as they should be. We frequently remind parents in newsletters not to park in front of people’s driveways and some parents from Caversham do have arrangements to park in people’s drives.

“ When we did a travel survey two or three years ago it showed a lot of people who live in Sonning Common drop their children off on their way to work.

“The school is still looking for a new lollipop lady, who we’re happy to pay for, and want to look at reducing the speed limit on the road to 20mph. We’re happy to work with residents as much as we can.”

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