Contact the Bridport News with your stories, pictures and video footage. Send us an email
Lyme Regis: Safety concerns over Woodroffe School traffic chaos
A CHILD will get hurt unless something is done to stop traffic chaos outside Woodroffe School say the school, parents, police and councillors.
Police and staff want to see double yellow lines to stop cars parking to the left of the school – but parents and councillors are not so sure that is the solution.
Coun Chris Clipson told members of the town council’s planning committee that parents were parking on existing double yellow lines, blocking entrance ways, obscuring the view of the zebra crossing and parking on pavements.
He suggested the school could let pupils going by car out later after the buses had gone, leaving the bus bay clear for parents to park.
He said: “You can’t have a situation like it is at the moment where it is very dangerous for children.”
PC Richard Winward and Dorset County Council officers were invited by the school to see the problem.
PC Winward said: “We watched the usual chaos that occurs every day between 3.30 and 3.45pm.
“Bearing in mind we were all stood in full view of the students and motorists and wearing high visibility coats I would assume everyone was on their best behaviour yet there was still chaos.
“We watched to see what would happen as students took their chances crossing the road and cars simply stopping to pick up where they could.
“It became clear to us that much of the congestion was caused by parents parking to the left of the Woodroffe School main entrance driveway.
“There are no parking restrictions there so it is perfectly legal to park.”
PC Winward said these cars reduced visibility for cars leaving the school site and for students trying to cross the road.
He said that having a parking stopping restriction would help traffic flow, improve visibility and improve safety.
He added that police have no powers to prosecute offenders for bad parking and enforcement would have to be considered.
Opinion in the council was divided.
Coun Michaela Ellis, said either nobody would pay any attention to the parking restrictions or the lines would just move the problem somewhere else.
Couns Rikey Austin and Terry O’Grady, said they had a duty of care to try and find a solution.
Coun O’Grady said: “It is an accident waiting to happen we have got to be seen to be doing something.
“None of these parents are going to take a blind bit of notice of parking restrictions until a child gets run over.”
Coun Ellis said: “We are still going to have a problem because the cars can’t stop and they are going to be driving up and down looking for their children to come out and I think that is going to cause more of a problem.”
Councillors voted in favour of double yellow lines and committee chairman and vice chairman Couns Anita Williams and Chris Clipson are to meet with PC Winward and the school to discuss solutions.
A spokesman for Dorset County Council said: “We are aware that there are parking difficulties outside Woodroffe School at times when parents drop off their children. Highways staff have met with the police and the headteacher of the school and are working to find a solution.”
'Kids just run across the road'
DAMORY bus driver Dennis Pearce, pictured right, said a lot of the car parking on the road was taken up by parents’ cars.
He said: “Obviously you get a lot of parents who park on the double yellow lines.
“I don’t think it will make a lot of difference if they put more lines down as they don’t pay any attention to them now.
“It is dangerous, the kids just run across the road.
“Perhaps they should get a warden or even get a teacher to come out or a lollipop person.
“The kids on the buses are OK because they only come as far as the layby but the kids who have got the cars that’s the trouble.
“And a lot of kids from Axminster catch the 31 and that stops on the road and there are literally hundreds of children around then.”