Illegal parking is a ‘danger to children’

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worried parents are backing moves to stop dangerous parking in a busy Wetherby street.

They say illegally parked cars on both sides of Crossley Street close to the recently installed zebra crossing are blocking the road at peak times, causing traffic to build up and creating a danger to schoolchildren.

Sian Craven, of North Grove Approach, Wetherby, who drives her two children, Lauren, and David, to the primary school each day, said: “I think it is a problem that everyone is aware of, it is often discussed when I talk to people outside the school.

“Earlier this week I walked down there and the police were booking somebody for illegally parking outside Sainsbury’s.”

Another parent at the school, Lisa Demain, who both walks and drives her two sons, Harry and Joshua, to school each week, said pedestrian safety is also being jeopardised as drivers mount the pavements: “The cars park on both sides of the road now outside Sainsbury’s on the zig zag lines.

“They also mount the pavement to park, no one seems to pay attention to the lines.

“From a safety point of view, there needs to be a clear run for traffic. I’ve even seen buses pull up on the lines.

“I would like to see police patrol the area more and also threats of cars being clamped here, which may deter people from doing it.”

Town councillors are lobbying Leeds City Council to get the zig zag lines next to the Crossley Street zebra crossing extended to prevent some of the parking and make it safer during key.

Mayor Cindy Bentley (Cons, Wetherby) told the Wetherby News: “It is a major concern for us on the town council and we are in regular contact with the police about the parking situation on Crossley Street, outside of Sainsbury’s in particular.

“The traffic on the road is extremely dangerous.

“We have been lobbying Leeds City Council about extending the zig zag lines for some time now.

“It is dangerous to have that many parked cars there on the street, it makes the lines of sight very difficult when driving and is affecting motorists.”

Coun Bentley said that the parking at Crossley Street was a topic of regular discussion at monthly council meetings with councillors in agreement that something needs to be done about the problem.

Sarah Wilkinson, who has owned the Candy Shop and Newsagents on Crossley Street for more than 11 years, said parking on the street needed to be dealt with.

“Parking has been a problem on Crossley Street for a long time. We often cannot find a space to park ourselves, even though we work here every day, and have to juggle around the various car parks of Wetherby, often moving our cars because the car parks are only for two or four hours.

“Cars often park across the keep clear signs, and halfway on the pavement sometimes too. With the school there, the safety of the children is absolutely paramount.”

Ian Purrell, who has been a lollipop man at the school for the last three years, said he believed that the parking near the crossing was a danger to children.

He said: “When cars park near Sainsbury’s it becomes a danger as other cars then swerve out to get past and block traffic and I can’t let the traffic through then.”

Insp Marcus Griffiths, of Wetherby Police, said: “We have had complaints about the parking on this stretch of road, but it is no more of a problem than any other parking on street in Wetherby.

“We try to maintain our police presence in the area well so that people do not park on the zig zag lines outside Sainsbury’s or near the school.

“There are always people who choose to park inconsiderately, and we are maintaining our police presence stop this happening.”

Insp Griffiths added that parking on the zig zag lines and keep clear signs near Sainsbury’s were an ‘endorsable offence’ with drivers at risk of getting points on their licence if caught.

When contacted by the Wetherby News, headteacher of Crossley Street Primary School, Sandra Clynes, said: “Ninety nine per cent of children who attend here live within under a mile of the school so the majority of them walk.

“However, I am not aware of any issues with illegal parking around the school here. We have a police officer who I have requested to come to the school every week and walk around the street for a variety of reasons, including security.

“No parents have expressed concerns to me over parking. We regularly send newsletters out to parents about where to park and no parents have approached the school to say this is a problem.”

A spokesman for Leeds City Council said they were looking into the case of extending the zig zag lines further along the road, but due to strict guidelines they did not know whether extending them was a possibility.

A spokesman confirmed that a highways department will go down to the site to look at the road, as it is done on a “case by case basis.”