Parking restrictions outside Lichfield schools will make area safer for children, says councillor behind plan

The councillor behind a new parking scheme which will see restrictions outside three Lichfield schools has said the safety of children will be improved.

Traffic on Cherry Orchard

Traffic on Cherry Orchard

The controversial proposal will see Cherry Orchard and surrounding roads have no waiting restrictions introduced at pick-up and collection times.

Some parents have criticised the move for putting additional pressure on the already congested area outside St Michael’s Primary School, St Joseph’s Primary School and the Five Spires Academy.

Terry Finn

Cllr Terry Finn

But Cllr Terry Finn, Conservative county councillor for Lichfield South, said those opposing the plan were hearing “myths and rumours” rather than facts.

“I put in a parking scheme two years ago,” he said. “We’ve now had another school there so it has had to be refreshed.

“I’m trying to relieve a road that in the morning and evening has many people coming with their cars to bring the children to and from school.

“What we’re going to do is introduce this scheme to create areas where there will be no parking so parents will have spaces to pick up and go instead of blocking the road.

“This is being done for the safety of the children and to give residents relief from people who park there all day long.

“There’s a lot of myths and rumours – people aren’t sitting down and reading what is being done on their behalf – I am doing my utmost to make it easier and safer for children by bringing in specialised parking.”

Back in 2014, a number of local residents and parents had opposed the decision by Staffordshire County Council to build the Five Spires Academy alongside the two existing primary schools on Cherry Orchard.

But Cllr Finn has insisted the area needed additional places.

“The problem is that there hasn’t been a school built in Lichfield South for many years, yet that’s where all the new housing development is coming, so we had to be ahead of the game and have a school there,” he said.

“There are plans to build other schools on some of the new developments, but we just have to accomodate children needing places.

“The ideal thing would be more children walking to school.”

Cllr Finn said suggestions that the additional places at Five Spires Academy had caused additional pressure on parking spaces was not necessarily correct.

He added that parents had the ultimate responsibility to make sure children got to school safely.

“That school only has 35 or so children at the moment and will rise to a maximum of just over 200,” he said.

“I’m working with highways officers to improve safety of children and wellbeing and parents and local residents.

“It’s the responsibility of parents to ensure children get to school safely and make sure they aren’t jumping out of the car if they aren’t in a parking space.

“I am happy to meet with the headteachers if they want me to explain the decision to them.”

Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

10 Comments

  1. StJoesParent

    1st March, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    I’ll have a pint of whatever Cllr Finn is drinking. Walk to school he says. Perhaps he’d like to walk a five year old several miles in all weather? Safety my backside – this is all about pleasing his rich Tory chums who can afford to live in the city centre but don’t like the great unwashed using their road.

  2. Solutionsnotproblems

    1st March, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    The proposals, having emailed the councillor at not yet received a response, will they allow parents to park on cherry orchard and take their child into school then drive off? As the ‘No Waiting’ indicates this is not possible?

    I would love to be able to walk my child to school, I am lucky enough to live in relatively easy walking distance, however there is not enough time for me to walk home and get my car and then get to work….
    Can the councillor please clarify what the parking restriction proposals mean, especially given the current catchment for all three schools, with people living not within walking distance…..?

  3. Charlie Farley

    1st March, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    As a conservative councillor I would of thought you would of supported hard working families and let them have the freedom of choice. Seems to be you have switched sides, these plans do not help the hard working families who voted for you, you would do well to remember who your supporters are and not upset your electorate..

  4. Driving Miss Daisy

    1st March, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    Really Cllr Finn? Is this the best you can come up with? If you and your colleagues hadn’t made the situation worse with your first parking scheme, followed by another school in an unsuitable position we wouldn’t be having to park in the way we do. Perhaps you should have a good hard look at yourself before making your sweeping statements about what your half-baked plan will actually achieve.

    I suppose as long as you push the problem out of your ward then all will be rosy in the garden for you.

    Suppose it’s too much to ask for someone at Staffordshire County Council not to find a new home for the buck to stop at.

  5. Matt

    2nd March, 2016 at 7:47 am

    So terry Finn has made the decision? What’s the point in consulting?

  6. Nick

    2nd March, 2016 at 10:30 am

    Isn’t this the same council that ignored parents’ and residents’ concerns over the location of the new school and assured us there was no need for any traffic management? Yet only six months later, they’re back with… a traffic management scheme. And a daft one. It is difficult to believe that the few cars legally parked all day are a problem – the streets are virtually deserted except for during the school run. But Finn and his cronies will seemingly say anything rather than admit they were wrong before.
    Practically, the scheme offers little to residents, and would even prevent them from parking outside their own homes. Parents dropping kids off would just be forced to park further away, relocating, not resolving the problems. Talk of more families walking to school is nothing more than wishful thinking – nobody actively wants to participate in this chaos ten times a week.
    Of course, we could just put in the new restrictions and then ignore them, like we do now. Or first, why not simply try enforcing the current restrictions and see whether they actually work before boasting about them? Every morning and afternoon, dozens of drivers are to be seen flouting the existing parking restrictions, dangerously blocking junctions and generally getting in everyone’s way. On those rare occasions when the enforcement officer attends, he seems to spend the whole time chatting to the lollipop man rather than issuing tickets. At £50-70 a time, he should easily be able to collect several hundred quid every day in Cherry Orchard alone. Just think of all the extra champagne banquets that could buy!

  7. Frustrated

    2nd March, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    The relentless new home building in Lichfield and surrounding areas, has so many implications that the council fail to understand.

    Lichfield does not have an amazing public transport network, so that is not an option.

    Due to the increasing congestion in the city, walking children to school is very dangerous, our roads were not designed for anything like the level of traffic that currently uses them. Having seen many near misses between cars and pedestrians.

    We do not have the jobs in the local area, I wish I came on here and the headlines were 200 new homes to be built, 500 permanent jobs created in the local area.

    Large numbers of parents have to travel out of Lichfield to work, they can’t have a gentle amble with the kids to school and then walk to work. It isn’t how it is. We don’t all have tax paid, chauffeured cars.

    Lichfield has been earmarked as one of the areas where there is predicted to be a “pressing” need for secondary school places in the next five years.

    The county council estimates that an extra 3,000 places will be needed in Staffordshire to meet the needs of a growing population

    If you keep building, people will want schooling, doctors, dentists….. If you keep raising the council tax (which is amazingly high already) and keep letting developers charging astronomical prices for houses. People have to travel out of Lichfield to work.

    The council are to blame for so many of these problems, why not admit if for once?

  8. JCJ

    2nd March, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    This is the same street they did a survey on with regards to the school run in the middle of the summer holidays.

  9. StJoesParent

    2nd March, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    JCJ is quite correct. Another example of trying finding a justification after making the decision.

    What Terry Finn neglects to mention is that he and Staffordshire CC have pulled their usual trick on this consultation. The only people who knew about it (before these articles) were those who live on the street. As has already been mentioned homeowners don’t own the road. Therefore the consultation should have included all who use the road as they are all stakeholders in the future of it. So the consultation should have included all parents as well as the residents. But doing that would mean Cllr Finn couldn’t push through his plans and whistle as he walked away.

    On the subject of which, I’m offering an open invite for Cllr Finn to join me on the school run whenever he likes. That way he might get an understanding of what the situation is really like, and not what it’s like in the middle of August. I won’t hold my breath though as that would mean him actually engaging with the debate rather than just pontificating and preaching to us all like his position of winning a couple of hundred votes in a safe Tory seat makes him some sort of highways soothsayer.

  10. Solutionsnotproblems

    2nd March, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    Agree, the councillor has admitted that no consultation with any of the heads at the three schools has even taken place….. Aren’t these still just proposals though..? How is it possible to input alternatives… What is the process…..is it only residents that can respond ….?

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