On the 29th January I wrote an article and placed it on my social media sites relating to the complaints I had received from householders in Ashmore Avenue that were complaining that they were being obstructed on their drives by inconsiderate parents picking up and dropping off at Corpus Christi School.
This has led to quite a debate taking place on my Social Media sites and that debate is still continuing. Putting the anger and the arguments to one side about the dangers of parking on Ashmore Avenue.
- The debate has also exposed that parents park on Ashmore Avenue because they consider the agreed parking arrangements on the Social Club Car Park also harbors dangers to both parents and children due to the complex maneuvers some parents make, and the speed that some arrive and depart.
- The fact that the one- way system onto the car park is not always adhered too. Plus other complaints linked to the way that some parents park alongside a fence, which apparently blocks staff from observing the children arriving or departing the site.
I also wrote to the Headteacher for the first time on the same day outlining the comments made on social media and asking the school to respond. I also contacted The City Council and the West Midlands Police.
Here is a resume of what these organisations have reported to me.
Parking Service Manager City Council state “I’ve carried out two site visits to Corpus Christi Catholic Primary School in response to the e-mail that we received from Cllr Phil Bateman.
- On both visits I only saw one car pulled up on the school keep clear markings on Ashmore Avenue, the markings are extremely worn – A request has been made to refresh them as a matter of urgency
- There were a couple of cars parked wholly on the pavement on the corners of Sandy Crescent and opposite the junction of Sandy Crescent and Ashmore Avenue, in contravention of the double yellow lines that can be found at this location.
- On Griffiths Drive a number of parents do park in the laybys that can be found outside of the houses. On both visits though I didn’t observe any driveways being blocked and parents were observant of the H markings that are already in place.
- I did have a look at what was going on in the social club car park and didn’t see anything that concerned me from a safety point of view.
The Parking Services Manager said “Yes there were vehicle movements at the same time as pedestrian movements but everyone was careful of each other.” She went onto report that
- The car park doesn’t allow for a high level of speed to be reached and there is a speed cushion on entry and exit of the car park.
I would feel that the car park is a real asset to the school in terms of managing those parents that choose to drive to pick up and drop off their children by car. If the car park wasn’t there then all of the cars would be parked on the roads surrounding the schools. As the car park is well used not many parents use the roads near to the school as their pick up and drop off point.
“All in all this was one of the better schools that I have viewed recently with regards to road safety”
Unfortunately, the Transportation post linked to the School travel plan has now been made redundant . But the City Council have walking bus packs that can be provided to the School should they wish to introduce a scheme themselves.
- It could be suggested to the residents who do not have H markings already and are having the drives blocked could request an H marking be installed, there is a cost associated of £129. Although H markings are advisory only – they can be very effective.
With regard to other issues raised in the debate around Corpus Christi School -I can also advise that previous pedestrian counts did not meet the government guidelines for a crossing patrol on site.
The City Council will arrange for an increased presence of Civil Enforcement Officers to ensure that any vehicles parking on the pavement area which is protected by double yellow lines are dealt with robustly.
The West Midlands Police have also informed me that –
- This is the first time that they have received a complaint regarding Corpus Christi.
- They will include Corpus Christi on the list for the schools that they routinely patrol, to provide support and reassurance to everyone involved.
Councillor Phil Bateman said “I think that readers can view the comments and make their own minds up. What I would say is that I am now going to speak with the City Councils Parking Services Manager about their report. I was invited by the Principal to take a look at the situation myself, which I did today. Arrangements are currently being made to speak with the School Principal about the whole parking issue. Plus I am keen to have a conversation with West Midlands Police. I will then create a report of my own and will publicise it.
The debate is a healthy one if people keep their tempers. It has already identified areas where improvements can be made. safety has to be the number one priority of everyone involved in this particular issue.”