Crackdown on illegal parking outside Wymondham school

A headteacher said illegal and inconsiderate parking outside his school's gates is just 'an accident waiting to happen'.

As pupil numbers at Robert Kett Junior School, in Wymondham, have increased over the years so have the parking problems along its neighbouring residential streets.

Those picking up and dropping off children at the Hewitts Lane school, which currently teaches almost 600 pupils aged seven to 11, sometimes park on pavements and block private driveways which has led to confrontations between parents and residents.

The chaotic scene makes it difficult for school buses to navigate their way down the road and can block the view of oncoming drivers for the school's crossing patrol officer who tries to make sure the children leave the premises as safely as possible.

Most worryingly the built-up parking can mask the sight of children stepping off the pavement and crossing the road.

Despite the addition of new double yellow lines outside its gates and the school's participation in a Schoolwatch programme last year, where the public was invited to anonymously tip off staff and the police on motorists consistently parking badly, the problem has not improved.

Now officers from Wymondham Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) have announced they are increasing their patrols of the area with the aim of reminding drivers where they can and can not park, and issuing tickets to vehicles parking illegally. The new patrols will begin on Monday.

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Malcolm Gray, headteacher at the school, said he welcomed the action.

With limited parking facilities on the premises, he said staff encourage parents to park as far from the school as possible to alleviate the frustrations of its neighbours - many of whom regularly email and call his office with complaints about parking.

He said: 'I can understand that parents have difficulties. They are keen to pick up their children particularly if they have children at the infant school as well, but the frustration within the community is with parents sometimes parking on pavements, obstructing drives so residents cannot get in or out and we know of occasions where residents have confronted parents and parents have been confrontational back.'

He added: 'It's an accident waiting to happen. My concern and the school's concern is that the measures taken might not be popular but from my point of view I do not want to be in the situation where one of my children is knocked down due to bad or illegal parking.'

PC Khamees Alothman, of the Wymondham SNT, said: 'We hope that by attending the school and educating drivers of the parking restrictions in the area we will be able to prevent further offences. It is for the safety of the children attending the school and other pedestrians that road users park both considerately and legally.'