Residents man the barricades to block school run parking
Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter
A “barricade” has been set up in Bridgend to stop parents from parking on a residential street during the school run.
Parents who have been taking their children to and from Brynmenyn Primary School said residents have been trying to stop them from parking at Lon Derw – an estate next to the school.
At the end of last year, Bridgend County Borough Council decided to close the school’s drop-off zone for health and safety reasons. Parents say they have since found it a struggle to “park safely”, with many deciding to use the double yellow line-surrounded street instead.
Described as a “barricade” by one parent, some residents in the area set up deck chairs in the middle of Lon Derw to prevent cars from parking during drop-off times.
The blocking of the road is legal as it is a private road, and those involved are letting in residents and visitors to the nearby care home, Ty Ynysawdre.
One resident, Jessica Upham, said: “All the driveways are getting blocked we can’t get to one from them. There’s been near misses with children walking to and from school.
“People have been parking on our driveways, all the grass has been turned up, they’ve damaged cars, fences, drains have all been lifted. People can’t pass on the pavement with babies and prams.
“ I take my kids [to] school late now so that I haven’t got to walk through all the hassle over the cars. It’s been reported to the council, the ombudsman, the police, the local councillor has been informed.”
Another resident, Nikita Jones, said: “The school closed the car park and with us living so close to the school they’re constantly parking on the curbs, I’ve got people parking on my drives.
“My daughter came out yesterday and if it weren’t for me shouting come away from the road, she probably would have been hit by a car.
“I don’t want her to go into school every day with the fear of possibly getting knocked over by people who shouldn’t be parked here anyway.
“Some parents have actually been quite rude. I’ve asked a few parents to move off my drive and I’ve got nothing, just foul language and abuse.
“There’s so many people and some just don’t care, some understand where you’re coming from but others just give abuse.”
The primary school’s car park, where parents used to be allowed to pick up and drop off their children, is now only to be used by school staff, school buses, those dropping off children with additional learning needs, and blue-badge holders.
The nearby car park for Coleg Cymunedol Y Dderwen has also been withdrawn as an option.
One parent, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “I’ve got three children and I’m walking them to the car – what my concern is, because everybody is rushing, that an accident is going to happen.
“My own children have had a couple of close calls, so have [other] parents I know of.
“From my perspective, [the council] either need to put something on the main road, like a lollipop lady to help parents cross the road with their children, or they need to re-open the school gates as soon as possible so that parents can use the parking facilities.”
Independent Bridgend County Borough Councillor for Ynysawdre, Cllr Tim Thomas, said he has been “pushing every day for a resolution”.
He said: “Lindsey Harvey [Bridgend council’s corporate director for education] has emailed me on Monday and said that they’re looking at a number of scenarios and that he hopes that the decision will be made within days. I’ll be relaying that on to residents as soon as possible.
“I’ve had lots of complaints from obviously Lon Derw, Heol Caeglas, right up some streets in Brynmenyn.
“I remain disappointed that they passed a school parking problem on into the community and people who live within the community [are] quite right to feel quite disgruntled by this.
“I’m hoping that now we’ll have a resolution as quickly as possible.”
A Bridgend County Borough Council spokesperson said: “The temporary measures that have been put in place at Brynmenyn Primary are intended to reduce the chance of an accident occurring on school premises, and were introduced following an assessment of the drop-off area which revealed that it was not being used as intended.
“The temporary closure is in place while we carry out a thorough review and look at what alternative options may be possible.”
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