School pick up chaos sees families blocked in and intimidated
- Credit: Brittany Woodman/NSFT
People living near a school are fed up with cars blocking their drives - with some even receiving threats when asking drivers to move.
Recreation Ground Road in Sprowston has cars building up from around 2.50pm on schooldays with parents stopping near the infant school.
One 25-year-old woman who lives on the street, said her taxi-driving dad was late to collect disabled children from college this week because his car was blocked in.
The woman, who asked not to be named, said: "My mum had to go up to the school to find the woman who had parked there.
"When she eventually found her, the lady deliberately took extra time leaving and then took photos of my parents and their cars before driving off."
The school has previously taken action over parking issues and say the majority of parents park respectfully.
The Sprowston family also claim they have previously been sworn at and threatened after asking a driver to move.
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Sprowston town councillor Breanne Cook said the issue has been a problem for all schools in the town.
Cecil Gowing Infant School shares a playing field with Falcon Junior and Sprowston Academy which is proving a further problem for parking.
Mrs Cook added: "There are definitely parking issues for all local schools with people parking across driveways and parking in grass verges.
"We recently emailed a list of problematic roads highlighting the school parking issue to the safer communities policing team and it has been selected as a local policing priority."
A 36-year-old woman, who did not wish to be named, lived in Cannerby Lane near Sprowston Academy for three years.
She said: "It was a nightmare trying to get into our drive with cars parked and the teenagers hanging outside our house after school.
"A couple of kids got knocked off their bikes. They were all in the road or on the path.
"Thankfully we have moved now - and we're nowhere near a school."
Sprowston town councillor Bill Couzens described those responsible for blocking driveways as "absolutely selfish" with some people "losing all sense of rationality" in his opinion.
What has the infant school said?
Rob Edwards, headteacher of Sprowston Infant School, said the majority of parents are "very responsible" but there have been occasional incidents.
He said the school raised the issue at a Safer Neighbourhood Action Panel three-years-ago when the police agreed to adopt parking outside schools as a local priority.
Mr Edwards personally visited those affected at the time.
The headteacher added: "We have regularly sent reminders to parents about acceptable parking and, now that we are aware the situation may have worsened, we will do so again.
"As always, we can only inform and advise parents; enforcement around road traffic incidents or threatening behaviour remains a police matter."
Sprowston county councillor John Ward used his highways budget to fund safety posts on the verge opposite Falcon Junior in March in response to reports of dangerous parking.
Mr Ward said parking at the recreation ground car park is the best option as there is a direct pathway to the infant school.