A PRIMARY school headteacher said she was ashamed of parents collecting their children from school after they blocked an ambulance trying to get to a pensioner having a heart attack.

While paramedics battled to save 75-year-old Brian Cole’s life, a parent trying to get past the ambulance tooted their horn and knocked on the door asking them to move. Mr Cole later died at Great Western Hospital.

Clare-Marie Burchall, executive headteacher of St Catherine’s in Stratton St Margaret, later wrote an angry letter to parents to complain about the traffic problems in nearby Gay’s Place.

She wrote: “I find it totally incomprehensible that parent/carers in our school would behave in such a disrespectful way, and be insensitive to a situation that clearly demanded respect for the person suffering inside.

“As headteacher of St Catherine’s, I am ashamed to tell you what happened next.

“Another parent, who had to come to collect their child from school, on finding his way blocked by the ambulance, began to press on his horn and when that did not make the paramedic immediately appear, went up to the door of the house, knocked on the door and asked for the ambulance to be moved.”

Mr Cole’s daughter, Nicky Pinnell, 44, of Covingham, had asked a parent parking on the road outside her father’s house to make room for the ambulance, but the driver refused to move, and the ambulance had to park in the road. The ambulance then moved to a neighbour’s drive so paramedics could continue treating Mr Cole.

She said: “I didn’t see it myself because I was inside the house with my dad, but the neighbour who lives opposite said she saw someone banging on the ambulance door and apparently that was one of the parents.

“The road is full of OAPs and it’s apparently not the first time this has happened.

“They’ve said they’ve found parents parked in their drives and when they’ve asked them to move they haven’t. They just don’t seem to give any respect to them at all.

“The paramedic said he was concerned when he was in my dad’s house and said he thought he might have to move the ambulance.”

Wendy Hicks, 73, who lives in Gay’s Place, said: “I’ve had more abuse from them [parents] than Tommy Lipton’s got tea leaves. They whizz around here like honey bees.

“It’s the abuse they give you. I won’t tell you what they say but they’re just so rude.”

The police have recommended that parents park in the car park of the Kingsdown pub while delivering and collecting children from the school, and use the cut-through to the back of the playground.

Coun Joe tray (Lab, Penhill and Upper Stratton), who is a governor at St Catherine’s, said: “In agreement with the school and the council we’re planning to open a school gate at the back of the playground. It will be safer for the children and safer for the residents, and everyone will be happy all round.”