CHILDREN’S lives in Huntingdon are still being put at risk from motorists who are ignoring warnings and insisting on parking illegally outside school gates.
Four months after The Hunts Post snapped inconsiderate motorists parking on double yellow lines and on the pavement outside Cromwell Park Primary School, campaigners say the problem is ongoing.
A small minority of parents are continuing to flout the rules despite repeated warnings and incentives to park elsewhere, say parents and staff.
Six penalty fines were handed out to offending motorists in March in a bid to clamp down on the problem, and up to 40 free parking permits for half-hour morning and afternoon slots at Hinchingbrooke Hospital car park have been available to parents since November last year.
A banner, provided by Cambridgeshire County Council’s Safer Routes to School team, warning motorists not to park on zig-zag lines outside the school went up this week.
Family liaison and inclusion officer Kim Lague said the recent initiatives had had an impact, but some drivers are not paying attention.
“We are really pleased that most of our parents do think about everybody and do park carefully. It is a small minority of people that continue and it tends to be the people who are habitually late.
“Most of our parents are fabulous. It is just the people who are late who tend to park illegally. They just need to plan a bit more and leave more time for their journey.”
Building work at the neighbouring Barrett Homes’ Genesis development off Park Way is due to be completed in two weeks time, but staff are unsure if the situation will improve from September.
Construction teams are working round-the-clock at the 97-home site which will include a shop.
Ms Lague said: “There will be parking opportunities at the shop, but on the other hand it will bring delivery vans.
“It is chaotic out the front there at the moment because the building is very close to the school. All the equipment and all the vehicles are very close to the school. It is as bad as it is going to get for us right now.
” Come September everything will change, and we will have to react then and see if there is anything else we can do. We are grateful that the most of our parents are considerate and supportive.”
Plans are to up the current green banner on the school gates which reads ‘Do not park here’ to an amber banner with a stronger message next week.
Similar banners have gone up outside Cromwell Park Primary School in Huntingdon, Farcet Primary School and Elm Road Primary School in Wisbech.
County council cabinet member for learning David Harty said: “The banners reinforce a safety message to drivers the zig zag lines are there for a reason. This project is an example of real partnership working with local communities and our schools to highlight this major safety issue and make motorists think twice about the dangers they pose to their own children and others.”