Police to target St Neots schools in crackdown on inconsiderate parking

Keren Pope.

Keren Pope. - Credit: Archant

Parents who turn the streets outside schools in St Neots into a “nightmare” by parking inconsiderately will from next week face warnings and then £30 fines.

The move follows complaints from frustrated residents and parents concerned about their children’s safety.

Sergeant Keren Pope, of the St Neots problem-solving team, said the focus will be on all primary schools around the St Neots area.

One of the team’s six PCSOs will be sent to a different school each weekday – subject to any other major incidents.

Sgt Pope said: “There have been complaints about the way the parents are parking at pretty much every school in the area. Our action will work on a case-by-case basis depending on what the PCSO finds when they get out.

“I would ask people to be considerate of the residents and the children crossing when parking their vehicles.”

She explained that in the first instance PCSOs will talk to those who have parked inconsiderately, but will issue fines if necessary. It’s a move that has been welcomed by some who live close to schools, while others are concerned about how the stance would be enforced.

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Claire McMeekin, 36, an apprenticeship trainer of Linton Close, next to Bushmead Primary School in Eaton Socon, said: “It would be nice if parents could have a bit more consideration. There are visitor spots, but on quite a few occasions the school has closed its gates so they can’t park in them. It can be mayhem and there have been times when I’ve not been able to park.”

Clifford Draper, 78, a retired factory operative of Almond Road, next to Priory Park Infant School, said: “It is terrible at times, people use the disabled bay even though they’ve got no stickers. It’s murder with the way they park – cars can’t get passed in both directions.”

Laura Burnell, 50, a clerical administrator of Pope Road, close to Eynesbury Church of England Primary School, added: “It is a nightmare – you can’t really access your own house. It’s a narrow road and if you have cars parked down here it can be really difficult.”

However, Yvonne Ashpole, 35, a Slimming World consultant of Linton Close, said police needed to talk with parents first. She added: “If police are not going to be doing it every day then I can’t see how they can fine people.”

Schools have also welcomed the news.

Keith Martin, chairman of governors at Crosshall Infant School Academy Trust, told The Hunts Post: “The school reminds parents about parking outside the school within newsletters. This is a general health and safety issue, as we need clear access to the site at all times. When cars park inconsiderately it causes issues and potentially impacts the flow of traffic along the Great North Road.

“If the police want to stand outside, monitor and speak to parents, I am happy for this to occur. This would give a good opportunity for the individuals to be spoken to and for those involved to understand the impact of what they are doing and any potential consequences.”

He added that the school encourages parents to park at the Co-op on Great North Road and walk to school.