Peterborough pupils stage primary school parking protest

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Pupils at a primary school in Peterborough staged a protest to try and stop bad and illegal parking during the morning rush.

The youngsters at Southfields Primary in Stanground waved placards in the direction of cars which were parking on zigzags, double yellow lines and grass verges.

Pupils from Southfields Primary School, Stanground protesting about parking around the school EMN-160507-085607009

Pupils from Southfields Primary School, Stanground protesting about parking around the school EMN-160507-085607009

But their presence in high vis jackets had little effect on some parents who continued to park where they wanted, despite a designated drop-off zone just yards away.

Heather Dawson, the school’s welfare officer, said she had been contacted by a resident living on a side road who said an ambulance could not drive through due to inconsiderate parking.

She added: “I wrote the school travel plan, and as part of that plan we organised two park-and-stride car parks, both of them a little two minute walk from the school and with no roads to cross. There’s no excuse for parents not to use them.

“This is the third parking protest that we have done. We have put thank you notes on the cars of people who park in the park-and-strides and there’s a note about parking in every newsletter.”

Pupils from Southfields Primary School, Stanground protesting about parking around the school EMN-160507-085638009

Pupils from Southfields Primary School, Stanground protesting about parking around the school EMN-160507-085638009

Notes were handed over today (Tuesday, July 5) to parents who were parking outside the park-and-stride zones by children and members of the SaferPeterborough Partnership who were there to assist with the protest.

Eleanor Walsh, who walks son George (6) into school, said there was a problem with people parking at speed on the pavement, adding: “At least if they were to wait for us to walk past then gently pulled up, it would be acceptable to a point.

“We dodge the cars then they look at you funny when you walk past them. I think it’s very dangerous.

“It’s been near misses and almost daily. It’s going to happen one day.”

Pupils from Southfields Primary School, Stanground protesting about parking around the school EMN-160507-085725009

Pupils from Southfields Primary School, Stanground protesting about parking around the school EMN-160507-085725009

Two of the pupils taking part in the protest were Dan Bramwell (11) and Elliott Hannan (10).

Dan said parking outside the designated parking zones “blocks residents from getting out of their drives.”

He added: “If someone was walking by they could open their car doors and it might hit a child.”

Elliott said: “If they do not park close to school they will get fit walking further distances.”

Pupils from Southfields Primary School, Stanground protesting about parking around the schoolEMN-160507-085740009

Pupils from Southfields Primary School, Stanground protesting about parking around the schoolEMN-160507-085740009

Jenny Wright, assistant road safety officer at the SaferPeterborough Partnership, said protests like this educate parents about safety and responsibility.

She added: “Hopefully children out here will have an impact.”

Peterborough City Councillor Brian Rush, a governor at the school, said: “It’s an ongoing problem with parking on yellow lines and zigzags.

“In winter we have problems with parking on grass verges and there’s the problem with parking on residents’ driveways stopping them getting out of their driveways.

“The biggest issue is the safety of the children. Someone parks on the zigzags then someone overtakes - it’s an accident waiting to happen.”

Cllr Rush said he was not aware of any accidents yet, but he insisted: “You never know in the future what will happen. The school is trying to be proactive and stop any accidents happening.”