Parking problem is
‘not getting any better’

Dangerous parking concerns at Harriers Academy, Banbury. Claire Williams on the left, with concerned parents, grandparents and neighbours. NNL-140923-154106009
Dangerous parking concerns at Harriers Academy, Banbury. Claire Williams on the left, with concerned parents, grandparents and neighbours. NNL-140923-154106009

Three councils should work together to resolve issues around inconsiderate parking near Harriers Academy, according to a parent.

Claire Williams, who has three children at the school, said the long-running problem of parents parking on pavements along Bloxham Road and Harriers View was still an issue and was a danger to children at the school.

“Unless we can get Oxfordshire County Council, Cherwell District Council and Banbury Town Council to agree to finding a solution, I can’t see this moving forward.”

Claire Williams, parent

Emergency vehicles have struggled to get up the road, she said, and other vehicles travelling up Bloxham Road didn’t even know there was a school there as all the road markings were covered by parents parking their cars.

She said: “Residents have also been verbally abused by parents parking their cars along the road and have even been shown the V-sign.

“Even parents like myself, who walk their children to school, get verbally attacked if we say anything to parents when they are parking on the pavement.

“The response we get from the police is they haven’t got the resources and can’t keep sending the PCSOs up there.

“They have said they want the council to have civil enforcement officers so they are the ones to issue the tickets .”

She added the only way a solution could be found was by Oxfordshire County Council, Cherwell District Council and Banbury Town Council working together.

She said: “It is a dangerous situation, but finding a car parking solution is hard.

“The school is on the corner of Bloxham Road and Oxford Road and there is nowhere you can put additional car parking for the school.

“Unless we can get Oxfordshire County Council, Cherwell District Council and Banbury Town Council to agree to finding a solution, I can’t see this moving forward.”

Mrs Williams added the situation was only going to get worse when the school’s nursery opened its doors.

One solution put forward by former headteacher Claire Coggins was the idea of creating a car park at Easington Recreation Ground, which could then be used by parents.

The solution has been put forward again and it is hoped Banbury Town Council will look at it in the future. The school is also looking for somewhere to operate a ‘walking bus’ after a previously suggested location at the Easington Pub fell through. A possible location could be the Co-op car park at Mewburn Road although the car park owners are yet to be approached.

But, in the meantime, Mrs Williams called for measures to be put in place to make the school’s presence more visible to passing motorists including the installation of flashing beacons.

A meeting with residents is to be held on April 21. It is hoped the police will be among those in attendance.

Headteacher Alex Pearson said it was not an issue unique to Harriers.

He said: “What is very clear is there is no easy solution. There are a lot of cars and children who need to get to school. It is not an issue which is isolated to just our school.

“We are doing as much as we can to work with the residents to alleviate the problem.”

He added he had addressed the issue of residents being verbally abused in the newsletter to parents and said anyone receiving verbal abuse should notify police.

Mr Pearson said more than 200 of the school’s pupils walked to school, some from Horton View sports ground, but for the remainder of the pupils, parents would have to look at parking further away from school and walking in.