Patrols are key to solving Sheffield school parking problems, say police

PCSO Pete Reynolds advising parents about safe parking around Ballifield Primary School. Photo: Chris Etchells
PCSO Pete Reynolds advising parents about safe parking around Ballifield Primary School. Photo: Chris Etchells
0
Have your say

Police have pledged to carry on patrolling outside schools to prevent dangerous parking when the new academic year starts in September.

Speaking outside Ballifield Primary School in Handsworth, PCSO Pete Reynolds said problems around parents parking too close to their children’s schools were not improving.

PCSO Pete Reynolds advising parents about safe parking around Ballifield Primary School. Photo: Chris Etchells

PCSO Pete Reynolds advising parents about safe parking around Ballifield Primary School. Photo: Chris Etchells

But, he said, parents were always grateful to see uniformed officers, and parking improved whenever he and his team were on patrol.

“People have said they’re glad we are here,” he said.

The dangers of illegal and inconsiderate parking were highlighted by headteachers, parents and residents in The Star last week. Most said a small number of parents were ignoring road markings and putting children at risk.

Yesterday, when excited children were leaving Ballifield Primary early after a sports day in the sun, the roads were as busy as usual.

PCSO Pete Reynolds advising parents about safe parking around Ballifield Primary School. Photo: Chris Etchells

PCSO Pete Reynolds advising parents about safe parking around Ballifield Primary School. Photo: Chris Etchells

But the presence of PCSO Reynolds and his team from Moss Way police station seemed to be working.

He said: “We’ve had one car parked on the zigzags outside the school, and another one obstructing a junction. They have been given a parking advisory notice, which says please don’t park here again.”

Sometimes parents will be spoken to. PCSO Reynolds said: “If I’m still here and they are parked badly, I will tell them they need to pay attention. People usually realise what they are doing wrong.”

The problem outside Ballifield can be made worse by the proximity of Handsworth Grange Community Sports College a few hundred metres down the road. Unlike some schools, there is parking on both sides of the street. But that does not stop some parents from trying to park as closely as possible.

“All schools are fairly similar,” said PCSO Reynolds. “It happens all over the city. These roads weren’t designed for all these cars coming in.”

Sheffield Council, which is responsible for road restrictions, is reviewing each school through its School Keep Clear project. The council says the review is ongoing, with 71 out of 137 schools still to be looked at.

Meanwhile police have their own cuts in funding to deal with. But PCSO Reynolds believes the only solution to parking problems outside schools is regular patrols and advice to parents.

“I’ve been a PCSO for 10 years and at every school I’ve worked at it’s been a problem,” he said. “It’s not got any worse but it’s definitely not got any better.”