Police warn parents over ‘free for all’

By Harriet Ernstsons Thursday 17 April 2014 Updated: 18/04 08:16

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A ‘FREE for all’ parking situation outside a borough school has been made a priority for police.

Officers have written to all parents at St Stephen’s First School warning them of the issues there, which they say have worsened in the current school year.

PC Richard Field from the Abbey Safer Neighbourhood Team said parking at the Mabey Avenue had been an ongoing problem for several years but had gradually got worse since last September, despite drivers being spoken to and advice being issued in the school newsletter.

Issues include drivers parking on verges, blocking driveways and also driving on and off the school car park where children were crossing.

Complaints have been made by residents at a Partners and Communities Together meeting and it has been made a priority, which means feedback will be given at the next meeting.

PC Field said: “We are working with the school to try to re-educate parents how and where to park to make it safer for everyone.

“We have tried to take a ‘softly softly’ approach and have offered safe and free parking at the nearby Forge Mill Museum but some parents are just not getting the message and will stop on double yellow lines or even in the middle of the road. At times it is becoming a free for all.

“It’s not just a case of slapping fines on drivers’ windows. We need to look at what needs to be done long-term in the interests of the children’s safety.”

He added the team was liaising with civil enforcement officers and further traffic regulations may have to be considered, with residents set to be asked about their views on the best solution.

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