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Parents banned from parking outside schools to drop off children

Parents have been banned from parking to drop off or pick up their children outside three Solihull schools.

From the start of term, anyone wishing to take or collect their little ones from Marston Green Infants, Haslucks Green Junior or Oak Cottage Primary Schools will have to find a space elsewhere and walk the rest of the way - or risk being fined.

  • Video report by Charlotte Cross:

For years, residents living near the schools have complained of inconsiderate parking by parents blocking the road and pavements - sometimes stopping across, or even fully on, driveways.

But with the new restrictions coming into force as pupils at Marston Green Infants began their school year today, they said they had already noticed an improvement.

“I personally think it’s a good idea,” Stuart Taylor, who lives a few doors down from the school gate, said.

“We have had a lot of problems, especially with people parking across the drive, on the drive. And people can be really rude - I’ve been told that it’s my fault for living near a school.

“Plus it’s about the safety of the children. It can get really bad.”

The new restrictions which are now in place Credit: ITV News Central

“Today is ten times better [than it was],” another resident, Celia Dowell, said.

“It can turn into a car park. We’ve wanted the council to do something for years - it’s fantastic to see it being policed today. I hope that continues and it doesn’t start to creep back to how it was.”

The school’s headteacher, Beverley Elliott, said she too thought the launch of the scheme had been a success.

In the past, we’ve had parents unfortunately parking down the road, driving down the road, reversing. We’ve had a number of incidents where children have nearly got hurt so that’s why we’ve promoted it and got involved.

Today, there have certainly been fewer cars and fewer children talking about the traffic.

I have parents that often complain, saying their child’s nearly been hit - I haven’t had one today so that’s a good sign.

– Beverley Elliot, headteacher
Parents now have to walk the final leg of the journey to school Credit: ITV News Central

Many parents forced to park elsewhere also appeared to welcome the restrictions, which have been introduced as part of an 18-month pilot.

Even one father, caught out by the change, said he thought it was an improvement.

“Before this, everyone drove - so I did too - just go with the flow,” he said.

“But this is much better, I do think it’s better. I’ll be more careful in future, definitely.”

Not everyone is happy, however.

Even one father caught out by the change said he thought it was a good idea Credit: ITV News Central

Alyson Jones’ son Christian goes to Haslucks Green Junior School - and she said she now has to park on the other side of a busy main road when dropping him off.

I don’t park irresponsibly, like most parents - I don’t block driveways, I don’t block pavements, there are a small minority that do that. And the rest of us are having to pay the price for that small minority, and it’s actually putting our children’s safety at risk and displacing the problem to other places.

When busy parents are trying to get the children to school, and then make it to work on time - and it’s not always easy - I think this is going to lead to them taking more risks and making snap decisions.

– Alyson Jones
Alyson Jones said she's concerned about safety Credit: ITV News Central

Solihull Council’s transport chief, Cllr Ted Richards, said he was keen to hear feedback from anyone affected by the new restrictions - directly or indirectly.

A lot of parents are supporting the scheme because of the benefit to the safety of their children.

I recognise that there’s been some concern from other residents, who may suffer from displacement of parking, but we’re happy to take those accounts into view during the pilot and consultation.

– Cllr Ted Richards, Solihull Council

He said they may alter the scheme, or even scrap it altogether, if it proves unpopular.

But if successful, it could be made permanent - or potentially even rolled out to other schools.