Could cemetery be answer to Sleaford school’s parking woes?

William Alvey's headteacher is appealing to local authorities and landowners to help resolve the parent parking problems outside his school. EMN-181015-174744001
William Alvey's headteacher is appealing to local authorities and landowners to help resolve the parent parking problems outside his school. EMN-181015-174744001

The headteacher of Sleaford’s largest primary school is imploring councillors and landowners to help ease critical congestion problems outside his gates.

Stephen Tapley said he is currently in talks with nearby landowners Longhurst Housing (On Track), Masons who own the former Furniture Recycling Centre, the county and district councils with a view to obtaining additional parking spaces. But has also written to Sleaford Town Council with a short term suggestion to ease the congestion which has become such a “difficult and frustrating situation.”

Gates to Sleaford Cemetery were closed at key times as the drive was being used as a car park by parents at school pick up time. EMN-181016-140140001

Gates to Sleaford Cemetery were closed at key times as the drive was being used as a car park by parents at school pick up time. EMN-181016-140140001

Mr Tapley says: “I walked through Sleaford Cemetery the other day, at 8.30am and noticed it was completely empty at exactly the time when parents started dropping their children off outside the school. Now in the past I have put lots of notices in our newsletter and written to parents directly requesting that they do not park in the cemetery or on the driveway (not always with a great deal of success). I know this parking has also caused damage to the verges and flower beds.

“However, I have asked Town Councillors to consider opening the cemetery gates and actually allowing our parents to use the driveway and turning circle from 8.30am to 9.15am every morning, as what is known in America as a ‘kiss and drop’ zone. The school would be willing to make a contribution to Sleaford Town Council for the use and upkeep of the driveway.

“The safety of our children is always paramount and we will continue to consider all options.”

The council only recently voted to close the cemetery gates to keep parents off the driveway due to damage and disruption.

Mr Tapley said: “Our school is large because we are popular and for that I am grateful. There are lots of advantages from being a big school but parking isn’t one of them.

“We run three daily walking buses from the NCCD, the Spar on Grantham Road and Lidl. We are one of only eight Lincolnshire schools who are part of the ANPR parking initiative and we have just joined the ‘Living Streets’ project.”

Every term, the school runs reward schemes to encourage our parents and children to walk or cycle to school and ensures all Year 5 children can take part in Bikewise training.

The town council will consider the proposal tonight (Wednesday).