Parents accused of clogging up side streets in Bishopbriggs to save kids having to walk

Wester Cleddens Road / Bemersyde - Pic of parking chaos outside St Helen's Primary Photo Emma Mitchell 8/1/13
Wester Cleddens Road / Bemersyde - Pic of parking chaos outside St Helen's Primary Photo Emma Mitchell 8/1/13

SELFISH drivers are causing a safety hazard near primary schools, it has been claimed.

Last week’s Herald highlighted concerning scenes at ‘hot spot’ areas at the start and end of the school day.

They included schools in Kirkintilloch, Bishopbriggs, Lenzie and Milton of Campsie.

The Herald has now received a number of pleas for action from people living near St Helen’s Primary and Bishopbriggs Academy.

Local resident Bruce Roxburgh said: “Traffic in the area at school opening and closing times is chaotic.

“We feel it is only a matter of time before here will be a serious incident.

“Despite parents being given permission to park in the Academy grounds or St Dominic’s Church grounds, they continue to badly park in side streets and clog them up.

“If an emergency vehicle such as an ambulance or fire engine were to try to enter these streets they would find it impossible.

“I have already contacted the council and they kindly put ‘Keep Clear’ signs at the corner of Bemersyde and Moorfoot. These, however, are completely ignored by the inconsiderate drivers either dropping off or uplifting children.

“This is creating a dangerous situation in an area that is occupied largely by senior citizens.”

Mr Roxburgh is a grandparent and his concern is for young children being put at risk unnecessarily, especially when adequate parking has been made available in the immediate vicinity.

He suggested a clampdown on offending drivers by traffic authorities.

This was backed up by a neighbour who suggested the police take action.

She added: “At a St Helen’s open day last summer I had to be dropped at the end of the street and had to walk back to my house as there was no room for the car I was in to get though the parked cars on the corners and into Moorfoot.

“Cars are parked on both sides of Bemersyde, leaving a very narrow lane for other cars to pass.

“This leads to chaos and frustration, and often stalemate if one car is coming up and another trying to get down.

“I am concerned this will result in a serious accident or fatality one day as small children are milling about through the parked cars.”

David Devine, East Dunbartonshire’s head of roads and neighbourhood services, said the council was working with schools and police to raise awareness of “inconsiderate parking and inappropriate driver behaviour”.

He added: “The council is currently progressing with an application to the Scottish Government to secure Decriminalised Parking Enforcement powers and, if successful, would then have the necessary powers to take action against illegal parking.

“The council’s aim is also to encourage more families to walk and thereby reduce car numbers and traffic around schools.

“However, when parents choose to use their cars, they are advised to avoid parking on the zig-zags outside schools and to always park safely and considerately.”

Community Policing Inspector Gavin Smith said: “Police are aware of parking issues at schools in the area and we continue to work with more than 40 schools across East Dunbartonshire to reduce congestion during school run times, but I’d also ask parents to help with solutions. A large number of cars arriving in the same place at the same time will inevitably cause delays and can be dangerous.”

He added: “Car-sharing, alternative pick-up places and times, or walking in groups are straightforward measures which can ease this situation for everyone.”

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