Parents' fury over parking

ANGRY parents taking their children to two Ipswich schools have found parking tickets are becoming a hazard of the school run now new parking enforcement officers are in place.

By JOSH WARWICK and REBECCA LEFORT

josh.warwick@eveningstar.co.uk>

ANGRY parents taking their children to two Ipswich schools have found parking tickets are becoming a hazard of the school run now new parking enforcement officers are in place.

Ipswich Borough Council's parking officers are clamping down on those dropping youngsters off near St Margaret's Primary School in Bolton Lane and Ipswich School in Henley Road.

At the beginning of this month, the council took back responsibility for parking regulation enforcement from the police and introduced the new officers who will not stand for parents parking on yellow lines while they drop their children at school.

And the clamp down has angered many who feel they are being penalised for taking their children to school. There are concerns that despite winter coming and nights drawing in, parents are being pressured into not driving youngsters to school.

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Penny Arbuthnot, chairman of St Margaret's Primary School PTA, said the problem of parking outside school had been an issue for some time.

She said: “Overall, the parents at St Margaret's make a good effort to walk their kids to school, but some come from further away so they have to drive.

“Many park in Cobbold Street, but there are quite a lot of yellow lines there. Parents leave their cars while they pop into school and some resort to putting notes in their windows so they don't get a ticket.

“The problem is the space is just so limited around there.”

Mrs Arbuthnot said the PTA had no plans to tackle the council on the issue of parking, but warned they would closely monitor the situation.

She added: “I think a lot of parents will be upset if they get parking tickets because they have to park their cars somewhere when they take their children to school and they only leave their cars for a short amount of time.”

But Inga Lockington, councillor for the area said that everyone must stick to the law.

She said: “A lot of councils in towns and cities are taking parking enforcement back from the police.

“If you stop on a single yellow line, you can drop off but you can't stop for any length of time. This is not about getting after parents, it is simply illegal to park on yellow lines. I understand parents' concerns and it's not easy, but this is a great learning curve for everyone.”

What do you think of the council's clamp down on parking? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

VOX POP outside St Margaret's School

Chris Fenton, 43, Belgrave Close: “Now they've employed someone whose motivation is money, so it's not community based anymore - and parents can't always walk.”

Claire King, 34, with Alex, 4, Bucklesham Road: “It's ridiculous. Since October 1 it is clear there has been an increase of wardens at peak times which is unfair.”

Patricia King, 57, Bucklesham Road: “It is pretty disgusting how mothers are supposed to pick up their children but find it impossible to park.”

Kerry Donovan, 42, with Pippa, 9, Colchester Road: “I couldn't possibly get here if I didn't come by car and I've never had a ticket in seven years. Because it is a church school there are lots of people who don't live nearby.”

Rebecca Hopson, 30, near Spring Road: “It's really bad. Sometimes I have to drive round three or four times to get a space.”

Elizabeth Lidbetter, 41, Gosbeck: “It's not very convenient. Especially if you have younger children and so don't want to simply drop them off without walking them to school.”

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