Councillors meet to curb Wetherby’s ‘nightmare’ parking

Traffic in Wetherby
Traffic in Wetherby

Wetherby councillors and traffic engineers have met this week to find a solution to the ‘nightmare’ parking on residential streets and around schools.

Residents have complained that parking around a number of schools in the town is particularly bad at pick up and drop off times, with some people abandoning cars on dangerous bends and in bus stops.

Ward councillor Gerald Wilkinson met with the highways agency and traffic engineers on site on Wednesday to decide a plan of action.

Coun Wilkinson said: “We will listen to what the engineers recommend and see where we go from there. The only probable solution is double yellow lines but that may be an extreme because it may affect people in the area at other times in the day.

“Its a perennial problem, it has been happening in other towns and cities. If you live close to the town and look for parking unfortunately its around local streets but if we were to introduce residents only parking, which we can do, that just pushes the problem further afield.

“Its a difficult one to solve but lets see what the traffic officers come up with.”

Residents responded to a Wetherby News call to share their views on Facebook and many commented that residents are often unable to park outside their own houses.

The problem is said to be a predominant issue along Sandringham Road near Crossley Street and St Joseph’s Catholic primary schools.

Stephen Nicholson, head teacher at Saint Joseph’s said: “We are aware that parking around the school at pick-up and drop-off times is a particular issue for our neighbours but we would like to reassure them that we are doing our upmost to resolve this issue.

“The safety and wellbeing of our children is always our priority and we regularly emphasise to parents the importance of considerate and safe parking around our school.

Mr Nicholson also said the school encourages parents to park at the old station car park instead of residential roads and that patrols by PCSOs had led to a number of parking tickets and warnings being issued.

St Jospeh’s Primary have also been working with Leeds City Council to address the issue, and are said to be in the final stages of introducing parking restrictions.

A spokeswoman for Leeds City Council said: “We have been working with St Joseph’s primary school over the past year to address the parking issues around the school. We are currently in the latter stages of introducing parking restrictions which will include some double yellow lines as well as single yellow lines to restrict parking in the vicinity of the school during pick-up and drop-off times.

“These works are due to commence during the half term school holidays next week.“

But at the other end of Barleyfields Road, it seems the problem is just the same along Aire Road and around Deighton Gates primary school.

One facebook user commented: “Aire Road is a nightmare at school opening and closing times with cars parked on bus stops and beside dropped kerbs making life difficult for residents and drivers particularly bus drivers.”

Claire Harrison, Headteacher at Deighton Gates said: “It’s common to every school in a town, it’s an ongoing problem that has been going on for years I should imagine.

Headteacher at Deighton Gates, Claire Harrison said they too had done a lot to resolve the issue around the school.

Ms Harrison said: “We regularly remind parents to park courteously being aware of our neighbours and we encourage healthy lifestyles and as many children to come to school on foot.

“But at the end of the day parents choose where they park.”

However some have argued that the problem isn’t just around schools at drop off and collection times, but a result of a lack of parking in the town centre.

One comment on Facebook said: “I do park on Sandringham Road or near by at school drop off and pick up, I have done so for the last 7 years. I always park with care and never block residents access, parking further away if necessary...

“I have noticed that the road is very busy all day with people who work in town who can no longer use the lorry park or have grown fed up with trying to get a space in the wilderness car park.

“Wetherby needs parking for people who work in the town, they have to park somewhere. Couldn’t a park and ride be set up near the motorway services or racecourse for people who travel to Wetherby to work?”