Road safety dilemma as parents 'ignore' school parking policies

Residents living near a secondary school are calling for action to improve road safety following claims of near misses.

The appeal comes as police and highways chiefs in Staffordshire launch a two-week campaign urging parents to park safely and legally near schools.

Householders near Cardinal Griffin Catholic College, in Cannock, claim requests for efforts to improvement traffic management in the vicinity as pupils arrive and depart have fallen on deaf ears.

However, the school said that it had not received any recent complaints regarding traffic problems.

Cardinal Griffin's chair of governors insisted the school was doing all it could to address the issues, but some parents were ignoring parking policies. An email has been sent to remind drivers to the Cardinal Way site situated off the A34 commuter corridor, not to park near the entrance.

Raymond Hawkins said: "Something needs to be done. It's a mess at busy periods with cars and school buses arriving plus residents trying to get in and out of the area.

"Everyone is coming out of there at 3.10pm which creates bottle neck at the T junction onto the busy Stafford Road, then there is another T junction almost opposite and a pedestrian crossing with lights.

"It was much better when the school staggered its times during the lockdowns, but since the start of the new academic term it has reverted to normal timetables with the children arriving and leaving at the same time.

"A lot of people have brought this to the attention of the school which has an obligation to ensure that pupils are safe,but it's fallen on deaf ears. You need six pairs of eyes done there as the traffic is coming from all directions. We have seen at least two near misses involving younger pupils.

"I have contacted the district and county councils, and Cannock police about our concerns. I'm being told that resources are limited, but you can't put a price on safety."

Chair of governors Paul Snape said: "We have not received any complaints recently regarding parking complaints. It is a perennial problem which occurs when our new Year 7s first arrive as parents like to drop them off.

"We're of the A34 which is the main road between Walsall and Stafford. It takes a lot of traffic including the school buses and we also have a wide catchment area due to be one of the few Catholic secondaries in the region.

"It is a junction where people have to be very careful before pulling out.

"We do urge parents to park at Tescos or at the leisure centre which are nearby. Unfortunately some parents want to park outside the school which makes life very difficult for us all."

Staffordshire Police and Staffordshire County Council are backing a national vulnerable road users campaign urging motorists to adhere to school parking policies and to be considerate to pedestrians.

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