THE ban on parents’ cars at Howardian Primary School, Penylan, is causing gridlock on nearby roads as they compete with residents for space.
School-run parents are parking and performing three-point turns on narrow, residential roads because the council allows only staff to drive into the school grounds.
“The congestion is so bad that residents and parents have almost come to blows on several occasions,” said Penylan councillor Bill Kelloway.
Carol Farmer, 71, lives on Hammond Way next to the school. “I’ve got no objection to the school being there,” she said.
“But cars have to stop parking on both sides of the road. Above all, it’s dangerous for the children.”
For some Hammond Way residents, congestion is a familiar problem.
“It was the same when Howardian High School was here, but that’s closed now,” said Abdul Mitha, 87. “It’s a bit of a nightmare, really.”
Coun Kelloway has appealed to the council to make it easier for parents to drive to the school.
“There is a clear solution. A drop-off zone could be built into the school grounds,” he said.
However, according to Coun Kelloway, the council is determined to stick to its anti-car policy.
“It wants to discourage people from bringing children to school by car. Its attitude is: ‘If we say people shouldn’t drive to school, then they shouldn’t drive to school’.
“However, the fact of the matter is that you can encourage people as much as you like to walk to school but people will drive. That’s the way lifestyles are.”
Howardian headteacher Colin Skinner said the council’s attitude is a “problem for parents and residents”.
“The vast majority of our parents always park responsibly but there is bound to be congestion during the pinch-point times,” said Mr Skinner.
“It is a problem for both residents and parents, so we are encouraging as many parents as possible to walk or cycle to school to ease the congestion.”
Access to Hammond Way and nearby roads can be expected to get worse in Spring 2018, when a new school building will open and the intake will rise from 120 to about 500. At present, the school caters only for pupils in Nursery, Reception and Year One.