it is only a matter of time before a child is killed outside a South Tyneside school unless action is taken to tackle parking problems, residents and councillors have warned.
People living in Ayr Drive, on Jarrow’s Scotch Estate, have presented a petition to South Tyneside Council requesting residents-only parking in the cul-de-sac that is home to St Mary’s RC Primary School.
At a sometimes-heated meeting of South Tyneside Council’s Jarrow and Boldon community area forum yesterday, residents highlighted the dangers posed by irresponsible parking in the narrow street.
Campaigner Jane Purvis said: “The parking is horrendous, and there are no signs at the entrance to tell drivers it’s a dead end.
“They speed along, thinking they can get out at the A19 slip road.
“Parents ignore lines on the road and still park outside the school.
“Emergency services would not be able to get in or out. It’s going to take a child being run over before something is done about it.
“I am sometimes late because I cannot get out of my own street.
“I even park up in other streets and wait before I come home, because I know how bad it will be.”
Fellow resident Kenneth Johnston said: “I have even seen people driving along the pavement when the kids are coming out of school.
“I have had the same problems in the 13 years I have lived in Ayr Drive, and that includes abuse and threats of violence from drivers who park outside the school. It’s not very nice.”
Bede ward councillor Fay Cunningham is backing the residents’ plea, saying: “It’s an absolute nightmare. It’s like wacky races, and it’s a miracle there hasn’t been a serious accident there. It’s a very serious situation.”
Coun Margaret Peacock, a former pupil of St Mary’s RC Primary, said: “There’s no quick fix or magic wand to solve these problems. We need to work with all agencies on this.”
Fellow councillor Lee Hughes said: “I am a resident of the estate and have two children at the school, so I’m very concerned.
“This is an issue which has been raised with our residents’ group over the last 18 months.”
Council parking services officer Trevor Mackie told the meeting that Ayr does not meet the relevant criteria for a resident permit parking scheme.
Instead, the council is recommending the introduction of limited waiting between 8am and 9.30am and from 3pm to 4pm.