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Lyme Regis: Safety of Woodroffe School students 'paramount'
HEADTEACHER Dr Richard Steward, said the school had been trying for a long time to find a solution to ensure the safety of the 1,100 children leaving at the end of the day.
He said: “The school is well aware that we have an issue with traffic at the bottom of the school gate.
“We have a large number of buses arriving all at once and a large number of parents coming to pick up pupils.
“The problem is there simply isn’t enough room to accommodate them as safely as we would like.
“The situation is exacerbated by poor and dangerous parking and just a lack of common sense of people parking outside while the buses set down and picking up.
“The need for yellow lines is obvious there and the need to protect the safety of children should be paramount.”
Mr Steward said that the majority of parents park perfectly safely but there are a persistent number who park in dangerous places.
He said: “That is why we need a regular traffic safety presence to do something about it to protect what is a huge number of people.
“There are occasions when it could be very dangerous.
“We have done a lot of work with Dorset County Council to see if there are ways to re-arrange bus bays or change our driveway but none of these are feasible because of the nature of the site and the road.
“The only real solution is to put in traffic calming measures and police the site more thoroughly.”
Dr Steward said it would not be practical to stagger leaving times for pup-ils being pick-ed up by car.
Parents tell of school pick-up struggles
DEBORAH and son Matthew, 13, have a 26-mile round trip from Winsham every day since he lost his concessionary bus place with Dorset County Council cuts.
Mrs March said: “It has got much worse since the buses have stopped their concessionary seats which means more people are coming by car.
“I was told they had a shortfall of £75 a day so I can understand their plight and that they had to do something quite radical.
“I think it involved quite a few children because quite a few buses have stopped.”
Not only has Mrs March to drive more than 50 miles a day, she arrives half an hour early just to find somewhere to park.
“It is case of getting down early because you don’t want to be parked illegally.”
She said it wasn’t the other parents who endangered the children but motorists driving too fast.
She said: “You drive accordingly if I see children in front of me you don’t know what they are going to do so you anticipate.
“More double yellow lines would be really awkward for people like me who have no choice but to drive.”
CELINA Roy is another parent who spends at least half-an-hour a day waiting in her car for her two children to leave school just so she can find a parking place.
Mrs Roy has a 19-mile round trip twice a day from Chardstock.
She said: “It is horrendous here at the end of the day. I sit here for half an hour literally just so I can park “My problem personally is I couldn’t get my children on the bus so hence why I have to drive down every day, twice a day.
“I had letters for both my children saying sorry there were no spaces on the bus because they stopped one of our buses from the Thorncombe, Winsham, way.
“It never used to be as bad as this but because they stopped a lot of buses it is now horrendous.
“I sit here sometimes and I cringe. It must be quite daunting to have to try and cross the road.
“I don’t have a lot of choice unless I change schools.
“There is no supervision.”
PARENT Caroline Gambier said putting more double yellow lines was going to make it impossible for parents.
She said: “Where do we go if they do that? If we had to park further down that would just block up somewhere else. I don’t know where we can all park.
“I wouldn’t mind if they can find somewhere else for us to park for I am concerned about the safety of the children.”
“It is a nightmare and it isn’t going to be long before someone is run over.
“It isn’t safe as it is. The children trying to negotiate this part of the road they should a crossing for them up here.
“This is so dangerous with all the children here.”