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Parents act over parking chaos at The Coombes in Arborfield

Published: 11 Feb 2014 09:000 comments

PARENTS concerned that parking outside their school is endangering children’s safety are taking matters into their own hands.

'Walking Bus' children and staff of The Coombes school Arborfield

After a number of altercations outside The Coombes, School Road, Arborfield, parents and residents are now photographing the registration plates of ‘repeat offenders’ they believe are parking dangerously and passing them on to the police.

Alison Ward, parish clerk for the Arborfield and Newnham Parish Council, said: “I’ve received photos from a number of residents and parents, who are also sick of other parents not parking safely, because it’s putting their children at risk.

“We want to work with and support our schools, we know how hard it is to control parking.”

Rosalie Coffey, 75, who has lived in Anderson Crescent for 45 years, is one of those who has been taking pictures of offenders. She said: “I’ve been doing it every day.

“Two weeks ago I was driving up the road, and there was a 4X4 parked on the corner and I couldn’t see so I had to turn into the road just hoping someone wasn’t coming down, and it made me cross, it’s very dangerous.

“They don’t realise I’m concerned with the safety of their children and other road users. Parents are putting the children’s safety at risk.” The Royal British Legion, at Eversley Road, has given parents permission to use the car park at school pick-up and drop-off times.

Neil Lyddiatt, deputy head of the Coombes School, said: “It’s a problem with schools. We had a local PCSO, Natalie Bucket, come in about the parking.

“She said other schools have a parking problem. Our teachers here do everything we can to encourage our parents to do the right thing.

“The headteacher sends out emails encouraging them to park carefully and consider our neighbours. It’s about kids’ safety, people have got to be fair.

“It’s a very small estate, I have been out there and I know what it’s like, but we really want to look after our local community.”

Mr Lyddiatt highlighted the steps the school was taking to minimise parking problems.

At present, a ‘walking bus’ operates, where parents can park at the Royal British Legion, and children are escorted the half-kilometre to school every morning by three members of staff.

Mr Lyddiatt added in the first 18 days of term they had walked more than 300 children, totalling 168 kilometres.

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