Parents in parking dispute at Chirnside

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SCOTTISH Borders Council say that the new arrangements for parents at Chirnside Primary who want to drop off and collect their children from school have received a favourable reaction from parents, despite a number of concerned mothers telling ‘The Berwickshire News’ that they simply weren’t acceptable.

In an email to the paper last week, one parent blasted the school’s headmaster, Mr Trussler, for putting changes into place which she claimed banned her and other parents from dropping and collecting their sons and daughters in front of the school.

She said that the two designated pickup points in the nearby church yard car park and at the top of Crosshill weren’t appropriate for different reasons.

The school has earmarked the church yard as a ‘park and stride’ option for parents and pupils, but the irate parent said that when a lot of parents use the car park it compromises safety as it is in her words ‘at one of the narrowest and most dangerous points in the village.’

She took issue with the Crosshill option as well because it involved walking down a school path which is covered in dog faeces and when icy is treacherous underfoot.

Two other parents have voiced similar concerns on the Berwickshire’s Facebook page, with one saying that if anything, the revised arrangements have ‘put more lives at risk’.

She commented: ‘The whole situation must be looked at again. I simply cannot understand why a small portion of the enormous, and under used playing field cannot be put aside for teachers parking, leaving the front of the school free for parents parking.

“There are a million reasons why a parent chooses, or is forced, to take their child down in a car, and in a lot of circumstances, using the church yard is simply not an option.’

A spoksperson for SBC said that the new measures were put into place in the interests of safety and rather than banning parents from collecting their children from in front of the school, asked them to refrain from doing so until school transport vehicles had left.

They commented: “Parents have not been banned from picking up or dropping off in front of the school at any point, rather they have been asked not to park and leave their cars unattended in the ‘D’ area. They are still able to park in designated parking spaces at the front of the school.

“We have introduced a system where cones are used to stop parents using this area to collect their children while school transport vehicles are in operation. The risk of potential conflict between child pedestrians, school transport vehicles and parents’ vehicles was significant enough to warrant these changes. Many parents have told the head that they believe the new regime is much safer and we welcome any feedback on this.”