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PARKING: Problem is self-inflicted

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I read with interest the article about the Shanklea Primary School walking bus, (News Post Leader, July 26).

It reminded me of the old saying that you don’t want facts to get in the way of a good story

Car parking around all schools is always a thorny issue. The problem at Shanklea Primary School was partly self-inflicted.

Coun Barry Flux took the initiative to trial an experimental ‘residents-only’ parking scheme in Parkside Dale, which solved the problem for his constituents.

Apparently, no one contemplated the consequences – all the traffic that dropped off and picked up children on that estate then diverted to Parkside Glade, Ringwood Drive, Romsey Close, Ryde Place and Ranmore Close, in particular.

This has become a safety issue, with cars double-parking and parking on pavements and street corners, forcing pedestrians with children and buggies to walk on the road. The issues have been well documented.

Public meetings and surveys have served to tick the resident consultation box. Even after presenting evidence, the ‘experimental pilot residents-only parking scheme’ in Parkside Chase was made permanent, leaving residents of Parkside Glade to hope that the walking bus would help reduce traffic. As anticipated, it hasn’t.

I am not naïve enough to think that there would be an easy solution, and I know the problem won’t go away, but I would like to see more considerate parking. Respect the white ‘T-bars’ rather than swearing at residents and telling us that they have no legal standing.

Ticketing vehicles that park on the corners of Ringwood Drive might help. Indeed, the Highway Code is specific on this – traffic wardens and police could give out fines for inconsiderate drivers who park within 10m of junctions.

Ironically, even though Parkside Glade was not seen as important enough to warrant a residents-only parking scheme, it has taken the additional volume of all the traffic, yet Nairn Road gets the new road surface.

In no way do I want to belittle the efforts of town and county councillors, or the headteacher and her colleagues of Shanklea Primary School for organising the walking bus, but a solution it is not.

Colin Garbutt

Cramlington