‘Absolute carmageddon’ on the streets surrounding a primary school has sparked calls for a ban on pavement parking.
Families and campaigners say the roads around Kings Road Primary School in Stretford, Trafford, are so crammed that pedestrians are being put in danger.
Mum Mary Patel shared photos on Twitter of the parking in Woodstock Road and Royston Road, Firswood, just a couple of the roads she says need altering to account for today’s traffic levels.
One of her photos from Woodstock Road shows how the pavement parking has made it impassable to a mum and child, forcing them into the road to get passed the offending cars.
Mary, who has two children at Kings Road, tweeted: “Permit me a moan about the absolute carmageddon that is the pavements opposite my children’s school.
“This one is our regular route: Royston Rd where the streets were built for car use à la 1930s & which badly needs making 1 way or narrowing either end to stop drop kerb parking.”
But the problem is far from isolated to this one school.
Sharing Mary’s tweet, Chorlton councillor Eve Holt said: “Say it loud and say it clear ‘Pavements are for people’. Where are the long awaited changes we’ve been promised to enable us to take action to stop this behaviour which continues to endanger lives and make our streets inaccessible for many people.”
Mary told the Manchester Evening News: “I am in favour of a London-style ban on pavement parking, with specific exemptions. It should easier for councils to manage and enforce.
“Councils in England do have some powers to manage the problem but are much too cumbersome and expensive for councils to put into practice.”
She added: “I also want to see a far greater proportion of the roads budget go to local councils to make our streets safer for people walking, cycling and using public transport.
“The takeover of our pavements disproportionately affects women, children, people with a disability and those people who cannot afford or do not buy into private car ownership. Addressing this imbalance is way, way overdue.
Are there parking problems outside your child’s school? Do parents park selfishly? Do you think banning pavement parking is a good idea? Let us know your thoughts in the comments here.
Councillor Holt said: “We have the same issues in Chorlton and around the local schools. Yes I’d like a ban on pavement parking and resources to enforce.”
Kings Road Primary School headteacher Darren Morgan said the situation is ‘a nightmare’ and although it’s just a small percentage of parents causing the problems, because it’s a 700-pupil school, it still amounts to a lot of people.
“We’ve tried to shut off the road nearest to school with A boards, but they still come down it,” he said.
“We encourage parents to walk to school, we communicate with them about this and we have staff outside – including myself and the deputy – every day and most people follow what we’re asking of them.
“It’s just we have quite a few that don’t – they park in front of driveways, they park on the pavement, it’s a nightmare. And a lot of them could easily walk to school.”
He added: “It’s one of the biggest issues I have to deal with as the headteacher of this school in terms of the level of conflict with drivers and neighbours.
“It takes up so much time. The local authority has helped, the governors have helped, but what it comes down to is selfish drivers at the end of the day.
“I’m not a traffic warden. I can ask them to come off the pavement and they’ll come off but then they’ll just end up going back on it.
“People are so impatient when it comes to parking. There is so much conflict between neighbours and parents who think they can park where they want.”
A spokesperson for Manchester City Council said: “Where cars are parked on the pavement and causing an obstruction or are otherwise illegally parked the council will work with partners in Greater Manchester Police to penalise offenders.
“The council recognises the annoyance and distress that anti-social pavement parking can cause, but the council’s powers to take enforcement action are limited by the extent of the law.”