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School’s 999 parking problems are solved
PARKING problems that clogged the roads around a primary school and interfered with emergency services earlier this year appear to have been resolved.
As the school year started on Tuesday, parents heading to Upper Stratton were faced with new measures put in place by St Catherine’s Catholic Primary School and Swindon Council.
Information was circulated over the summer, telling drivers not to park their cars at various points in Davenwood, Gays Place, Medina Way and Meadowcroft, where cones have also been placed to deter parking in an effort to avoid congestion.
In June, there were so many cars parked in Gays Place that an ambulance was unable to safely park and attend to a resident suffering a heart attack. The ambulance did ultimately reach the man, but he died that same day.
The official instructions put out to parents ask them to park their vehicles in the car park opposite the Kingsdown Arms pub in Kingsdown Road, then walk down Ermin Street before entering the school through a rear entrance.
The practice, only two days old, seems to have won over all parties. Parents have been pleased by the new access to the school’s playground from the rear, which is opposed to walking around the building to enter from the front as in previous years.
Pete Tucci, 36, a parent from Nythe, said: “It’s a great idea. Having the traffic lights and gate down Ermin Street make it very safe and easy.
“It’s obviously an important issue to the school, but they have dealt with it well. Parents aren’t needing to walk any further either, because it seems the same distance from where they were parking last year.”
Another parent, who chose to remain anonymous, said: “Some-thing had to be done after the tragedy last year.
“I think this a perfectly acceptable solution to the problem. The walk isn’t too far, we have a barrier between the school and the main road, traffic lights and a gate which gives direct access.”
Claire-Marie Burchall, the headteacher at St Catherine’s Primary School, said: “The school has worked very hard to come up with solutions to the parking difficulties around the neighbourhood of Davenwood.
“Over the summer break, we have liaised with Swindon Council to have a safety barrier erected outside Hyde Road and the school has had a gate installed leading directly from the school playground on to Hyde Road.
“This will enable the adults dropping off children to park in the car park opposite the Kingsdown Arms, walk down to the pedestrian crossing and enter directly into the school playground, thus avoiding the immediate vicinity of Davenwood and surrounding area.
“Working with our neighbours is always a high priority for St Catherine’s School.”
Councillor Joe Tray (Lab, Penhill and Upper Stratton) said: “It might take a few days, because parents need to find out that the back gate is open.
“We have been pushing this and, over the summer, the gate was opened and the school is also introducing a walking bus.”
Coun Tray added: “I have great sympathy with both residents and parents.
“I understand that people have to work and I also sympathise with residents who are affected by parents parking there.”
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