Lichfield primary school headteachers warn parking restrictions will impact on safety and learning

The headteachers of three Lichfield primary schools have warned that parking restrictions could have implications for the safety and learning of pupils.

Traffic on Cherry Orchard

Traffic on Cherry Orchard

Staffordshire County Council is drawing up plans to introduce no waiting zones and timed-limited parking on Cherry Orchard, Hazel Grove and Wiltell Road.

Cllr Terry Finn, Conservative representative for Lichfield South, has proposed the scheme claiming it would improve safety for children.

But a letter signed by the headteachers of Five Spires Academy, St Joseph’s RC Primary School and St Michael’s Primary School has warned that safety could actually be compromised if the plans go ahead.

“Whilst we understand the difficulties, we are concerned about how safe it will be for 700 pupils in total to be delivered and collected from schools.”

Helen Bye, Dee McLeary and Helen McKay have penned the letter of objection as part of the consultation.

And they have also warned that the parking restrictions could impact on teaching and learning.

“This proposal will impact on punctuality,” they added. “How can we foster parent relationships through assemblies and parent workshops if they cannot park on the road or in the surrounding area?

“We do have some parents travelling from as far as Fradley so what impact will this have on them?”

Terry Finn

Cllr Terry Finn

Cllr Finn has previously offered to meet with the headteachers if they had concerns over the proposal, after warning that opponents had been listening to “myths and rumours”.

And he has insisted that his proposals will improve safety.

“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.

“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.”

The county council has also come in for criticism of its decision to propose the new parking restrictions following its decision to grant permission for Five Spires Academy to open – the third school on Cherry Orchard.

Parents had raised concerns that an increased number of children, combined with a reduced number of spaces, would lead to them having to drop children off in the middle of the road.

“That school [Five Spires Academy] only has 35 or so children at the moment and will rise to a maximum of just over 200,” Cllr Finn said.

“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.”

Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

9 Comments

  1. Driving Miss Daisy

    4th March, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    Over to you Staffordshire County Council… who is best to judge what is best for the students? The teachers who see the situation every day or a Tory who doesn’t seem to have much of a grasp on reality. Sadly, I think we know the answer given they opted to do the traffic survey for Five Spires Academy…in August! Where there’s a will (or a Tory) there seems to be a way.

  2. Dad D

    4th March, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    The council can’t have it both ways. Aere they really trying to say they didnt realise a new school would mean more problems with parking. How does reducing parking solve the problem?????

  3. St Mike's Mum

    4th March, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    The proposals are sheer lunacy. Cllr Finn has no appreciation of the fact that many parents who drop off their children are working parents and have jobs to get to on time. How on earth is it safer for children when the alternatives are either dropping off the children earlier and leaving them loitering outside school waiting for the gates to open or practically having to push them from a moving vehicle because you’re not allowed to pull up and park!? The proposal will just move the problem to further afield neighbouring streets like Manor Rise and Roman Way. Is Cllr Finn proposing we introduce Operation Stack along Rotten Row, St John’s St and Roman Way? It’s evident that Cllr Finn has never experienced the school run himself. Presumably he had a nanny/stay-at-home mom to do it for him. Wake up and listen to the parents and teachers who experience the school run twice daily, rather than a solitary council worker who rolls-in to conduct a traffic survey during the summer holidays.

  4. Martin

    5th March, 2016 at 10:45 am

    I would urge all those people who have an opinion about these proposed parking restrictions to email the following before the 16th March, which is when the consultation period ends:-
    Highways@staffordshire.gov.uk
    And of course
    Terence.finn@staffordshire.gov.uk

  5. Jack Andrea

    5th March, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    Here here to all of the above.

  6. Frustrated

    5th March, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    Martin, I sincerely hope it works for you.

    But consultations in Lichfield, seem to be a pointless exercise.

    The decision has already been made, no matter how sensible the arguments are against it, or how many say, do not do this, they will.

    Councillors, you represent us, the people. Listen to us.

  7. Concerned Citizen

    5th March, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    Councillors will not listen. The Tory’s have such a majority that they can railroad any proposal . Self-interest is the main concern for Councillors….look at the increase in their allowances, look at the appalling attendance rates of some councillors. Do we see any action from the Council hierarchy? The Council Leader is only interested in the new shopping development…do we really need more cafes and restaurants. LDC needs to join the real world.

  8. Resident

    6th March, 2016 at 10:47 am

    Would love to be able to see these actual proposals, however despite being a resident on Cherry Orchard we have not received the alleged letter that was sent out, Councillor Finn has not replied to my email and Staffs County Council said that they could not see the letter to send us a copy.

    I wonder how many other residents have been missed off, losing their ability to have their say on these proposals.

  9. Martin

    7th March, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    Resident, if you want to see the proposals I’ll scan them to you email me on martin500_0@btinternet.com

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