‘Pro-active approach’ to school parking issue

Traffic on the Linn Road at the Linn Primary School. INLT 13-002-PSB
Traffic on the Linn Road at the Linn Primary School. INLT 13-002-PSB

THE principal of Linn Primary has said she is taking a “pro-active approach” to tackling road safety issues at the school, following complaints from residents regarding irresponsible parking in the area.

Like many schools across the province, there is often traffic congestion outside the gates during the morning and afternoon school runs.

And a frustrated resident has contacted the Larne Times to voice her concerns, claiming that parents are causing problems in the area by parking on footpaths and blocking driveways.

But principal Andrea Duff said she has repeatedly called on parents to be mindful of safety issues when parking in the vicinity of the school, and has written to them on a number of occasions, urging them not to double park, or block school entrances or driveways.

She added that another letter was to be sent out to parents reminding them of the importance of parking considerately when dropping off or collecting their children.

The school has also had discussions with Roads Service and local police to try and find ways of relieving traffic pressure at the school gates, but added that parents have a major role to play in helping to find a solution.

“There is only so much we can do to solve this problem; the onus really is on the parents,” she said.

“We are certainly not the only school where parking poses a problem, and the issue has been referred to the PSNI and Roads Service on a number of occasions. But it is difficult to manage as the school is situated on a busy junction.

“It used to be that children only came and went to the school via the Killyglen Road exit, but they now also use the Linn Road exit. The police have told us that there has been a big improvement in traffic flow in the area since this change was implemented.”

East Antrim MLA Alastair Ross has also spoken on the issue of road safety in and around school entrances across the borough, after a number of constituents lodged complaints in his office.

Mr Ross said: “I have been speaking to some parents and principals in schools across East Antrim and the problem in most cases boils down too often inadvertent blocking of roads by parents.

“There are parents out there who are understandably picking up and dropping off pupils as close to the front door of the school as they possibly can, but in some cases this involves them entering the school grounds and blocking delivery lorries or buses whilst in other places they pull up on double yellow lines or block footpaths.

“In the interests of safely, both for road users and pupils, this must stop. A constituent has told me that primary school pupils often have to walk on the road because of cars that block footpaths and this has very serious implications. I would encourage those who leave off or pick up children to be considerate of others.”

Mr Ross said some schools regularly sent out reminders to parents that they should not block driveways or park illegally. “Unfortunately if these efforts prove unsuccessful, the PSNI and Roads Service will need to look at other solutions,” he concluded.