Head teacher calls on MP to help tackle parents’ pavement parking

April 15 2016

A Bristol primary head teacher says urgent action is needed to protect children’s safety near the school gates.

A Bristol primary head teacher says urgent action is needed to protect children’s safety near the school gates. Amanda Pritchard, head of St Teresa’s Catholic Primary in Horfield, said motorists are frequently seen mounting the pavement outside the school in Luckington Road. She said she has seen vehicles with all four wheels on the pavement and others moving on the pavements as drivers try to pass each other on the narrow street, which is residential opposite the school. Now the school has enlisted the help of their local MP, Charlotte Leslie, and Councillor Claire Hiscott to investigate a solution. Measures such as a voluntary one-way system down Luckington Road have failed, in part because some drivers do not know it exists. And Mrs Pritchard says a small minority of parents habitually park on the pavement at dropping-off and picking-up time. She said the school gets lots of support from PCSOs but on days when they do not patrol, the bad driving habits return. The school is now investigating the possibility of bollards on their side of the road to prevent cars mounting the pavement or installing CCTV to monitor the situation. She said: “Our priority is pupil safety and I am deeply concerned at the number of car drivers who feel the need to park and drive on the pavement while families are walking to school. “It would only require a small misjudgment for a child to be struck and the consequences do not bear thinking about. “I know this is an issue for many schools and we are hoping we can come up with a solution which is acceptable but, more importantly, will guarantee safety at the school gate.” St Teresa’s has been a leading supporter of walk-to-school initiatives and some families “park and stride”, where they leave their car a distance from the school and walk the remainder. Ms Leslie said: “Clearly a solution is needed before an accident happens. We need a combination of parental education as well as an effective solution which keeps cars off the pavement. Along with Councillor Hiscott, I will work with Mrs Pritchard and the school to help them achieve this.”