'Extremely concerned' principal and parent slam 'extremely dangerous' parking outside busy Northampton school

“It’s an extremely dangerous place to be at 3.15pm,” said one concerned parent
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The principal of a large school in Northampton says he is ‘extremely concerned’ with the standard of parking outside his school – with one parent saying it is ‘extremely dangerous’.

Parking outside Caroline Chisholm School (CCS), in Wootton, has reportedly been shocking so far this school year. In one of the most extreme cases, a whole roundabout in Wooldale Road was blocked off due to about 10 cars parking in the middle of it.

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One parent at the school, Gemma Knott, has heavily criticised parents who continue to park wherever they like.

Some incidences of parking outside CCS on Wooldale Road recentlySome incidences of parking outside CCS on Wooldale Road recently
Some incidences of parking outside CCS on Wooldale Road recently

Speaking to the Chron, Gemma said: “Despite the school sending regular emails to all parents about being safe and considerate of others, parents continue to park in dangerous and illegal places simply to be closer to the school.

“On a daily basis parents see cars stopping at green lights to let their children enter the cars on the roadside, children walking into traffic on the roundabout to reach their parents’ cars, and there are many near-misses.

"Cars also continue to park on zig zag lines close to the traffic lights, making it dangerous for cars and children as oncoming traffic is blocked.

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“We all know that school kicking out time causes more traffic on the roads, but CCS is an extremely dangerous place to be at 3.15pm.”

CCS principal David James issued a statement saying he is ‘extremely concerned’ with the situation.

Mr James said: “I am extremely concerned about the issues of traffic near to our school and recent displays of dangerous parking on Wooldale Road. As a public highway, this causes a negative impact to all those living in our local area and poses a risk of serious incident from any potential obstruction to our local emergency services, in preventing access to our school and nearby residents.

“We will continue to work with Northamptonshire Police and the local authority to resolve this issue and encourage all parents and carers to use the systems we have already put in place to maintain the safety of our students. These include our school day staggered finish, the use of our drop off zone and walking bus service for children in Years 1-4.”

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Northants Police say they are aware of traffic issues across many of the county’s schools but that the issue falls under West Northants Council’s (WNC) remit.

A spokeswoman for Northamptonshire Police said: “While most parking issues fall under the remit of the relevant local authority, Northamptonshire Police is aware of parking and traffic issues around many of the county’s schools, including at Caroline Chisholm School.

“Members of the local Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) are in regular contact with the school and parish council to provide support and advice on this issue, including where possible carrying out patrols at key times and providing education to motorists, and where necessary, take enforcement action on identified offences.

“The safety of all road users, and especially more vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists, is a priority for Northamptonshire Police and we urge motorists to take every care when driving in a school zone, and to follow the Highway Code to ensure they park safely and responsibly.”

WNC has been contacted for comment.

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It is believed the issue will be raised at the next Wootton Parish Council meeting on October 16 at 7pm. Anyone with concerns about parking in the area is encouraged to attend and speak to the parish council directly.