When the schools closed for the summer break, The Star reported that a meeting was to take place with the council and others, regarding parking problems around schools. Well, nothing has changed around Hartley Brook school.
The introduction of yellow lines should have gone a long way to easing the problems of residents as well as keeping children safe. Instead it has made things worse.
In the past, if I knew I had to go out at around 3 pm, I would have to take my car off my driveway and park on the road so that I could leave at 2.45. If I didn’t do this, then by 2.20pm my driveway would be blocked and I wouldn’t be able to get out.
Thanks to the council introducing the yellow lines I cannot do this now, as I risk the possibility of getting a parking ticket if the police turn up and start issuing tickets.
Ironic, isn’t it that I have to run the risk getting a ticket for parking outside my own house, but the illegal parkers can sit there on a yellow line blocking my driveway and taking the risk of getting a ticket, and continue to get away with it day in and day out.
Yesterday I had to go out, and decided not to take my vehicle because I wasn’t sure what time I would be returning and being likely to find my driveway blocked.
I left at 2.40pm, my driveway was blocked, despite the yellow lines and the time being within the no parking limit. On my return, at around 3.45, as I walked down the street I passed a police vehicle parked at the roadside.
I met my neighbour and he told me that he had earlier had a row with a woman who had blocked his driveway and parked on the yellow lines while waiting for a child to come out of school around 3pm. He said the woman driver had sat and laughed at him when he has told her she was illegally parked. As we talked a car came and blocked his driveway again, still within the no-parking time period. Unbelievably, it turned out to be the same woman, coming to collect a child at 4pm, and when we looked at her she just sat there grinning back at us. That’s the arrogance of these people.
There was also a vehicle parked blocking my driveway too. Unbelievably, the police vehicle which had been parked up the road, then drove past the illegally parked cars, and the officer ignored them. Just before 5pm another car was blocking my drive, despite almost the rest of the road being clear and the driver could have parked anywhere. He was picking a child up at 5pm.
How am I supposed to know when I can and cannot use my driveway when there are kids leaving the school and being picked up at various times between 3pm and 5pm? Should residents have a weekly school timetable?
The next time I arrive home and find some idiot illegally parked AND blocking my driveway, I am not going to inconvenience myself and drive away and look for some parking spot where I can park up for half an hour until my driveway is clear, as I do now, I am going to sit in my car in the middle of the road and block the traffic flow until the illegally parked driver gets the message.
Twice this week I have seen buses and cars unable to move because they are going in opposite directions and don’t have room to pass each other because of the illegal parkers, so my little car will be no different, will it?
Perhaps it’s time that council leader Julie Dore issued people who live near schools with a letter giving them a dispensation to park on yellow lines outside their own homes for a few minutes, without the risk of getting a ticket, if they need to be going out around the time the illegal parkers are arriving to block their driveways.
Likely? I don’t think so.
Totally cheesed off/law-abiding resident