AN ANDOVER parent is calling on the council to enforce parking rules outside a primary school due to vehicles regularly stopped dangerously or on double yellow lines leading to a ‘nightmare’ situation.

The father, who did not wish to be named, has a daughter in Year 4 at Portway Junior School, on Upper Drove, and says he is concerned that somebody is going to be hurt if action is not taken to make the area safer at drop-off and pick-up times.

“I, like every parent should be, am trying to look after the safety of the children,” he told the Advertiser.

The 51-year-old, who works as an audio visual service engineer, added: “As with any school, it’s an absolute nightmare for parking around school times.

“There is a bus stop, which is rarely used, pinch points and double yellow lines, which some parents end up parking on, or outside other people’s houses.

“There are double yellow lines and pinch points for a reason, and that is to control traffic. If people parked properly, there is space for more cars to flow through, but they park on the double yellows and cars cannot get out of the car park.

“And all of a sudden, you’ve got a sea of cars that are blocked. The cars are backed up almost to the sharp bend by Harrow Way.”

He continued: “I have had it where, all of sudden, people will try and turn around in the car park as other people are trying to leave the school. They are driving back out, onto a live road, without much due care and attention.”

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The Charlton resident added: “Today my wife, in order to pick up my daughter at 3pm, had to leave at 2.20pm. We live a five-minute drive away. Normally we have to park much further down the street, and walk up. I couldn’t care less how early people leave or how long they wait in their car, just do it safely.

“I have a gut feeling that someone is going to get hurt outside that school.”

In emails, seen by the Advertiser, the parent appealed to Hampshire County Council to utilise its resources to promote safe parking, either by penalising people parking offensively, or by having a presence on site at peak times.

However, he was told that “in these situations, where drivers are making quick stops to drop off and collect children, parking regulation is often flouted as civil enforcement resources cannot be provided at a level to ensure compliance. Enforcement at schools is not a sustainable solution in the long term.”

The County Council went on to say that it encourages parents to look at alternative modes transport to and from school.

Reacting to the response he received, the parent told the Advertiser: “At the moment, they are not interested. They get enough money out of multi-storey car parks!

“They cannot provide more parking, I appreciate that. The school do all they can to promote alternative ways of getting to school, but we have got to remember when it’s its three or four degrees outside and chucking it down, who in their right mind is going to send their kids on a bike or on foot?”

He continued: “I would like people to be aware of their surroundings, and if I was the council I would be thinking, for the sake of a couple of afternoons, of enforcing the double yellow lines - at least seven cars a day should have a ticket!”

Councillor Russell Oppenheimer, Hampshire County Council’s executive member for highways operations, said: “While our Civil Enforcement Officers do not patrol the roads around all schools every day, periodic checks are made and restrictions are enforced when they are found to have been contravened, and appropriate action is taken. 

"We are working closely with Portway Junior School to encourage parents to act responsibly and safely when parking outside the school.

"I would urge all drivers to be considerate about where they park, respect any parking restrictions such as double yellow lines and to be mindful of other road users.”

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