‘Ottery primary pupils’ safety paramount’

Claire Wright,Maria Clapp and supporters of the yellow lines group at the junction of Slade Road and

Claire Wright,Maria Clapp and supporters of the yellow lines group at the junction of Slade Road and Yonder Street in Ottery. Ref sho 3526-37-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Ongoing concerns for children’s safety on roads near Ottery Primary School have prompted parents to speak out against inconsiderate motorists.

PCSO Maria Clapp, of Ottery’s neighbourhood policing team, this week supported calls to stop pupils being put at risk - and urged drivers to think where they park, ‘as it is too late when a child has been injured’.

This comes as Devon County Council’s (DCC) cabinet voted to stop funding school crossing patrols amid a new wave of local government cuts.

Andy Roger’s son attends the primary school. He told the Herald: “There is a road right down the end where the pavements cut off just before Tip Hill and that is just a nightmare.

“I have been clipped two or three times walking down there with my little boy. I always walk on the outside so he is safer. Drivers can be too quick and impatient.”

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Mum-of-two Sarah Gibbons, of Longdogs Lane, said: “There are lots of parking issues around this area, particularly in the afternoon and morning with the school run. There are safety concerns because a lot of people park in places where they should not.”

Dad Ian Edgar said: “With non-parents there is a speed issue with people going too fast by the school, but it’s an issue with Tip Hill in general. The problem is the main bit at the bottom of the road where there are no pavements.”

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A decade of concerns over parking in the area came to a head last year when more than 250 people signed a petition calling for double yellow lines at the entrance to Slade Road – one of the worst problem areas.

As a result of the petition – which was instigated by PCSO Clapp – DCC’s highways teams vowed to address the issue – but, in the meantime, fears have been exacerbated by proposed housing developments on land near the primary school.

PCSO Clapp said: “When I am on patrol, parents usually listen to my advice and park in a much safer place. All they are concerned about is picking up their child, not thinking of the problems and difficulties they are causing other drivers.

“The zig zags need to be kept clear, thus giving more visibility for the children and parents crossing the road. The children’s safety is paramount.

“I would urge parents to think where they park outside the school, as it is too late when a child has been injured, due to inconsiderate parking.

“It would also be a great help if pupils that live near to the school, could walk with their parents if possible. The fewer cars at the school at arrival and departure times would be beneficial to everybody.”

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