Fears after near misses at Sheffield schools

It's Your Child Campaign - Hunters Bar Junior School 'PCSO Josh Clark speaks to the driver of a car parked on double-yellow lines and close to the junction on nearby Guest Road
It's Your Child Campaign - Hunters Bar Junior School 'PCSO Josh Clark speaks to the driver of a car parked on double-yellow lines and close to the junction on nearby Guest Road
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Near-misses caused by traffic jams, scrambles for spaces outside entrances and arguments between motorists have become a daily occurrence at two neighbouring Sheffield schools.

Concerns are mounting over parents who are putting child safety in jeopardy at Hunters Bar infants and junior schools.

Both schools, which are next door to one another, were the latest to be targeted by South Yorkshire Road Safety Partnership’s It’s Your Child campaign, backed by The Star, which is aimed at improving safety for youngsters.

There are three entrances to the schools - one on Sharrow Vale Road, a side gate on Kirkstall Road and another on Junction Road - causing triple the problem.

On a typical afternoon run, The Star and police community support officer Josh Clarke witnessed parents parking on double yellow lines and causing obstructions which had the potential to put a child in danger.

An officer from Sheffield Council’s parking services also issued an on-the-spot fine to one motorist as pupils finished for the day.

Nicola Sawyer, parent liaison officer at Hunters Bar Junior School, said: “It’s permit-only parking around school so parents choose to double park, park on double yellow lines, wait in the car outside the gate on Sharrow Vale Road therefore causing a traffic jam.

“A huge problem is that parents use Kirkstall Road which is a cul de sac. Parents will drive up to the gate or park wherever possible and then they will reverse down the road.

“There have been several near accidents. This is also the gate that we need access to at all times in case of an emergency as there is no other way for emergency vehicles to get on site.

“We are aware that traffic wardens are on duty as much as possible and as a school we have tried name and shame by publishing car registration numbers in our newsletter and by challenging some of the drivers.”

PCSO Clarke said: “It can cause all sorts of problems when there are obstructions or parents parking on zig zags. Children can come right out in front of vehicles and they have to break hard and another car might go into the back of them.”

Karen Moodie makes the 20-minute journey from her home in Cemetery Road to pick up and drop off her son Lewis, eight almost every day.

She said: “Parking around here is just horrendous. You see some parking in the middle of Sharrow Vale Road when they can’t get a space, which means kids have to cross in between them. I come right up to the gate to get Lewis.”