Pupils give parents a lesson on road safety

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Parents were told to change their ways to stop dangerous parking at St Francis School.

Residents and parents were invited to the school, in Southgate Drive, Southgate, on Wednesday (January 30) to hear pupils give a presentation on their campaign to stop people parking on pavements, grass verges and driveways.

Headteacher Bernadette Connor explained that people parking in those areas when dropping off and collecting children had made it dangerous for pedestrians.

She said: “With the help of Crawley Borough Council (CBC) we have arranged to have a garden to be created on the grass verges outside the school to stop people parking there.”

Mrs Connor explained that fencing would also be put on all the affected grass verges.

The verge opposite the school entrance was the first to be fenced off on Thursday (January 31).

Angela Tanner, head of planning and environmental services at CBC, explained that every affected verge would be fenced off in phases.

She said: “There are 125 grass verges being used and all residents feel there grass verge should be done first but we have to start somewhere.”

Mrs Tanner was also working with West Sussex County Council to get double yellow lines on the affected roads.

Mrs Connor said fencing off grass verges near the school could move the problem to another area.

But she added: “If the problem is not concentrated around the school then it will pose less of a risk to the safety of the children and that is my main concern.”

PCSO Stephen West said if people tried to park on driveways or pavements he could give them warnings or parking tickets.

Residents at the meeting pointed out that the traffic lights on Southgate Avenue were dangerous as children had to wait on the island in the middle of the road while the next set of lights turned red.

Beverly Clayden, travel plan advisor for the school, advised that people voice their concerns about traffic lights and road signs to West Sussex County Council.