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Traffic 'chaos' outside Solihull primary school putting children at risk, campaigners say

Felix Nobes 12th Dec, 2018 Updated: 12th Dec, 2018

DANGEROUS traffic ‘chaos’ outside a primary school in Solihull is placing children at risk, campaigners say.

And other schools face the same scenario with accidents waiting to happen, say two councillors.

Worried parent Paul Cook has demanded action at St Anne’s Catholic Primary School, Chelmsley Wood.

He says ‘near misses’ are common outside the school, with motorists fighting for spaces to drop their children off.

Mr Cook is calling for urgent traffic calming measures.

He said: “It’s dangerous and it really needs bringing to people’s attention, because it’s falling on deaf ears.

“It’s not two wheels on the pavement, it’s four. These cars are driving and parking along the pavement.

“People with pushchairs are forced to walk in the road.

“I’ve seen many near misses – and tooting and shouting on a regular basis.

“One person recently reversed out at a rate of knots and nearly ran me over. If it was a child there they would be dead.

“It’s quite simple really. Five concrete posts each side of the road would deter anyone going on the pavement and some from travelling down the road.

“A council officer who came to look at the road, said ‘they wouldn’t look very nice’.

“And I said, ‘I don’t care what it looks like if it saves a child’s life’.”

The school is on a small drive just off Bosworth Drive, a main road going into Chelmsley Wood town centre.

The small road has double yellow lines on either side and can cause serious problems when many parents are trying to turn around and park on it, Paul says.

The school gates have parking spaces either side, belonging to two entirely unconnected buildings, with reserved parking spaces.

Anyone who drives through the gates or tries to park in the spaces either side has to undertake a potentially hazardous turn or reverse back out.

Chelmsley Wood councillor Karl MacNaughton says it is a problem for many schools.

He said: “I think that parking by schools is a big problem everywhere.

“It seems particularly bad in the north of the borough, but I think all areas suffer from it.

“I get lots of complaints on this subject and the council really needs to address it.”

Coun Ted Richards OBE said: “While parking outside schools at drop-off and pick-up times isn’t a new issue, we have noticed an increase in reports from concerned residents.

“We have asked our civil parking enforcement officers to monitor driver behaviour in the roads around St. Anne’s School in the coming weeks.

“There are some parking restrictions in the vicinity of the school, and our officers can take enforcement action against anyone found to be contravening them.

“Some of the concerns raised relate to other moving traffic offences, and we will liaise with the local police team responsible for dealing with vehicles obstructing footways and turning areas.”

But Coun Richards said bollards would restrict the available footway and ruled out their introduction.

We approached St Anne’s school for a response but did not receive one before going to press.

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