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Police maintain presence at drop off times as school parking row blows up again

01 Oct 2023 5 minute read
Parents say there has been a police presence at Brynmenyn Primary School during drop off times.

Lewis Smith, local democracy reporter

Residents of a cul-de-sac at the centre of a long-standing row over car parking, which has seen a police presence at school drop off and pick up times, are calling for action to find a long term solution to the problem.

People living in Lon Derw, in Brynmenyn say they are frustrated at the ongoing issues of parents “parking inconsiderately” on the side of the road and even blocking their driveways when taking children to and from Brynmenyn Primary School, with many fearing for the safety of both children and themselves.

The issues have been widely publicised in recent years, with tensions between parents and residents coming to a boiling point in January of 2022, after a “barricade” was set up to stop parents from parking on the street during the school run.

Last year residents set up up deck chairs to prevent parents from parking on Lon Derw.

While some level of relief was hoped to have been felt in the form of a drop-off point at Brynmenyn Primary, which gives access to permit holders to pick up and drop off children, many say the problems have persisted, with locals now calling for a more permanent solution from the council.

Mal Harris is a resident at Lon Derw and says despite years of fighting for a change, he feels the situation for residents on the 19-house estate hasn’t improved at all.

He said: “We’ve been dealing with this issue since I moved here in 2018, and there is still no solution to the problem with inconsiderate parking on Lon Derw during school drop-off times. It’s really causing residents to suffer now and we think something has to be done.

“The housing estate is a small cul-de-sac with one road in and one road out, but because there is nowhere to park, parents come in to the estate and park wherever they can. It can be carnage out there at times, with dozens of cars lining the pavements and roads, blocking people in to their drive-ways, and causing tensions to flare.

“Obviously it’s very stressful to the people who live here when they can’t get in or out of their properties, but to have this amount of traffic coming in to a small estate like this is unsafe for the children and pedestrians as well.

“Police have been out which does stop the issue for a short while, but obviously they can’t be here all the time and when they leave it goes right back to how it was before. It’s very frustrating for everyone. ”

Moving

Another resident who lives on the estate but did not wish to be named said the problems had even caused them to consider moving in order to get away from the issue.

They said: “We find it really hard here at the moment, as at least twice a day it’s like you’re living in a car park and it just isn’t fair. We have this constant feeling of being watched, and while we feel for parents as they have to park somewhere, there are also cases where there is a complete lack of respect – with people lining the streets, blocking cars in their drives, and generally parking however they want.

“As residents it can be incredibly frustrating if you want to leave the house in a hurry, and we also have fears around access to the site for emergency services, as if they were required to come here during school pick-up times they would really struggle to get in.”

Lon Derw Parking Bridgend

Cllr Tim Thomas of St Bride’s Minor and Ynysawdre, said he has been dealing with complaints from residents for a number of years and thinks now is the time for the local council to act.

He said: “I have spoken to many residents living around Brynmenyn Primary, and they are angered that the danger from parking within the school has been migrated into the community. This is especially the case in Lon Derw and Heol Adare.

“While I am aware there remains concerns over the safety of the school drop-off point in Brynmenyn Primary, the council must adopt measures to resolve this. This could include parking marshals or considering lockdown periods. There would likely be a financial cost to this, but that would be a small price to pay for the safety of pupils within the school and outside in the community.

“I also understand that the police are patrolling local streets before and after school. This will be welcome to people living in problem areas. However, a solution is required to ensure that all parents have a safe and viable option to get children to school. Fundamentally, I am disappointed that this remains a problem for a modern school and its layout.”

Reported

A Bridgend County Borough Council spokesperson said: “If any vehicle causes an obstruction by parking inconsiderately on a public highway, it should be reported to South Wales Police so officers can assess whether an obstruction has occurred.

“Safety is paramount and there are parking restrictions on the access road to the school to assist with road safety and to facilitate access to residential properties in the area.

“Civil parking enforcement officers, who are employed by BCBC, also patrol this area and enforce parking restrictions where appropriate. We would like to remind parents/carers that alternative options are available including active travel routes which offer safe access to and from the school.”


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Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
7 months ago

But the article doesn’t address the main problem. Lôn Derw is a new-build estate. Why was permission given to stuff that many houses near a school without thought (or (without care!) of where parents and residents are going to park? Bridgend Council are happy because they’ve fulfilled their housing quota (needed or not!). The builders are laughing to the bank and back. But parents and resident have to live with the consequences. This ignoring of basic considerations happens time and time again with new housing developments and causes misery for so many people. Like building the Glasdir estate in Rhuthun… Read more »

Steve Woods
Steve Woods
7 months ago

It can be carnage out there at times, with dozens of cars lining the pavements and roads…

Carnage (n.): the killing of a large number of people.

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