Residents’ anger at parking mayhem at Higham school

Parking congestion outside Higham Ferrers Infant and Nursery School and Higham Ferrers Junior School
Parking congestion outside Higham Ferrers Infant and Nursery School and Higham Ferrers Junior School
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Residents fear it will take a fatality before anything is done about parking outside a school.

Gardenfield in Higham Ferrers is a dead-end road off Wharf Road and close to the town’s infants and junior schools.

Residents say the amount of traffic using the road during the morning and afternoon is dangerous and will only get worse if plans to build an additional 166 homes off Wharf Road are approved.

The developer, Linden Homes, has been granted outline planning permission to build the houses in a development that is classified as low density.

Gardenfield resident Lisa York is worried about both the parking at school times, with parents parking their cars half on the pavement and half off along Gardenfield, and the added traffic the development will bring.

She said: “Getting out of Wharf Road at school times is horrendous.

“They are planning to build another 166 homes near the schools, it will be absolute carnage when that happens.

“It is just dangerous and it will take someone being killed before something is done.”

Another resident, Martin Turner, also believes the present situation is dangerous and thinks it will only get worse with the addition of more houses.

He said: “It was the worst idea ever to have this development. It puts everybody at risk.

“They have changed the road priority at the junction of Wharf Road and Gardenfield and it’s a blind turn.

“People aren’t even parking legally now, it would be impossible for anyone in a mobility scooter to get past the parked cars because they’re half on the pavement and god help us if a fire engine or ambulance ever needed to get down Gardenfield.”

The schools are aware of the issue and residents’ concerns.

The January newsletter for the junior school included an item about parking. It said: “We have had a few complaints from local residents (Spring Gardens) and parents (infant and junior) about the parking around the school before and at the end of the school day. Please be considerate and park legally.”

Linden Homes asked residents for their views on the plans late last year. They received six responses from residents, none of which raised the issue of parking and increased traffic in Wharf Road or Gardenfield.

The issue of Bryant Way and Vine Hill Close becoming “rat runs” was raised and the developer has agreed to put in traffic calming measures along the two roads.

Dangerous and illegal

The Northamptonshire Telegraph is running a Park Safe Be Safe campaign to highlight the dangers of illegal and inconsiderate parking outside schools across Northamptonshire.

If you know of particular problems at schools in your area tell us about it by calling 01536 506153 or email your photographs of bad parking to our newsdesk at nt.newsdesk@northantsnews.co.uk.