School criticised about parking restrictions

Parking problems outside St. Peter's Primary School, Eaves Lane, Chorley
Parking problems outside St. Peter's Primary School, Eaves Lane, Chorley

A PRIMARY school has been criticised after taking measures to prevent its pupils from being knocked down by vehicles.

The new steps have been slammed - with some parents claiming they are even more dangerous.

St Peter’s CE Primary, Eaves Lane, Chorley, has closed its school gates before and after school.

It said pedestrians - especially children - were at risk from cars arriving in the car park, parking and turning round to leave.

It added that parents were then cramming into the visitors’ car park and reversing onto Eaves Lane, creating further problems and dangers to pedestrians.

The school also asked community police officers to monitor the parking situation outside premises and to advise parents about parking.

But a granddad, who regularly picks his grandchild up from the school, said: “It’s just chaos.”

The man, who wished to remain nameless, continued: “They used to let them off the road into the car park. They are pushing the cars into the road, it has got that dangerous. They’ve got the police stopping people parking in places.”

He added: “The kids walking home, it’s making it dangerous for them.

“They closed the gates saying it was too dangerous for people turning round in the car park.

“But the only kids in the car park are the kids being picked up. The kids go out of the other gate when they are leaving.”

Ward councillor Adrian Lowe said the area had been experiencing traffic issues for some time.

He said: “It would be helpful if they did allow cars into the car park because there’s quite a sizeable car park at the side within the grounds and obviously parking on Eaves Lane is always going to be a nightmare because of the relative closeness to the roundabout at the top of Harpers Lane.

Helen Wright, head teacher said: “There were real safety concerns because of parents parking on the staff and visitor car parks at our school.

“These were never designed to be used for picking up and dropping off children. There have been reports of near misses where children have been close to being injured, as well as some minor damage being caused to vehicles moving on the site.

“This is why we’ve gated off the car parks and advised parents that the visitors car parking area is for volunteers, governors and disabled car users only.

“We are also working with the community police, who have surveyed the situation and advised parents of the need to park away from the site in the various streets surrounding the school.

“We have included an article about safer parking in the school newsletter and reinforced that this is a matter of child safety.

“We realise that this may mean that some parents have to walk a short distance to school.

“However, the county council has installed zebra crossings on Harpers Lane, and there are two school crossing patrols, which make it much easier for parents and children to cross.”