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Motorists angered by delays caused by parents parking near to Newbury school

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Residents claim "inconsiderate" parents dropping children at John Rankin schools are causing considerable delays to their journeys

‘INCONSIDERATE parking’ by parents dropping children off at a Newbury school is causing considerable delays to nearby residents, it has been claimed.

Traffic issues are said to be at their worst by the John Rankin infant and junior schools on Garford Crescent, off Valley Road, on Tuesday mornings as refuse vehicles operate there during peak times.

Tensions came to a head last Tuesday when, according to one Newbury resident, it took up to 40 minutes to travel along Elizabeth Avenue and Valley Road as a coach had parked outside the schools, partially blocking the road.

Frustrated resident Lorraine Cladingboel, said: “I’ve approached both John Rankin schools, local councillors and Thames Valley Police, who say there isn’t a problem.

“Every day is like this – especially Tuesday.

“There have been parents parking on grass verges, in front of bus stops, outside residents’ dropped kerbs, on corners and within a couple of yards of the school crossing patrol.

“Out of term-time my journey is five to 10 minutes as opposed to 25 to 40 [minutes] term-time.

“I know for a fact, a huge amount of people drive who live less than half a mile away – I’m pulling my hair out.”

The schools are run by West Berkshire Council and spokesman Keith Ulyatt said: “Resolving parking around those schools has been the subject of debate for some time.

“Long-planned new parking restrictions in the area should be implemented by next month and these will be closely monitored to see the impact, including any impact on Valley Road.

“The school, with the council’s support, heavily promotes walking and cycling as alternatives to driving to the school.

“This work is ongoing and in line with the council’s walk-to-school promotions generally.

“Partly as a result of this, the number of pupils arriving at John Rankin junior school by car is now just 30 per cent.

“One of the main roles of the council’s road safety team is to educate motorists on the impacts of driving to school, and to encourage alternative travel if possible which will improve the situation for all.”

Falkland ward member Adrian Edwards (Con) said he would be passing residents’ concerns directly to John Rankin school and the council’s highways department.

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