Parents’ parking ‘puts kids in danger’

Headteacher Sandra Langley of Holy Trinity Primary School who is concerned about parents illegally parking outside. (1302123AM5)
Headteacher Sandra Langley of Holy Trinity Primary School who is concerned about parents illegally parking outside. (1302123AM5)
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The headteacher of a Ripon primary school is warning parents their illegal parking could be putting pupils in danger.

Sandra Langley, headteacher of Holy Trinity Infant School and Nursery, is appealing for parents to drop off their children away from the school, where road markings prohibit parking to prevent any accidents.

“We are totally sympathetic that not every family can walk to school,” said Mrs Langley, who has set up a park and stride scheme to encourage more parents to park away from the school and walk the rest of the journey.

“When it’s snowing or raining parents want to drive but the weather causes even more problems. We have had a couple of near misses.”

In addition to the park and stride scheme, Mrs Langley said she is “constantly sending out letters” and has launched a half-term road safety competition for children at the Trinity Lane school.

“The large majority of parents are really supportive,” she told the Gazette. “Some people who do it come once in a blue moon but other people do it quite regularly.

“When parents park right outside the school, only one car can get past and it then has to drive on the very narrow pavement. It causes a danger for the children walking along the road.

“Parents need to park away from the school and walk a little bit which is what the park and stride scheme encourages.”

County Coun Bernard Bateman has also sent out 240 letters to the parents of pupils at Holy Trinity, appealing for them to be more diligent when dropping off and picking up their children.

Coun Bateman told the Gazette: “We are asking parents to put their children first. It’s a small minority of about 10 parents parking outside the school. Half the battle is getting kids walking to school.”

Ripon councillors managed to secure a 20mph speed limit around all of Ripon’s schools nearly ten years ago – but Coun Bateman thinks more needs to be done to ensure the safety of pupils.

In his letter to parents he said: “I would ask all parents to comply with the headteacher’s request of no stopping outside the school.”

Coun Bateman will also meet with school governors to discuss possible solutions.