Sleaford Town Council is to close vehicle access to the town cemetery early to combat parents parking on the drive waiting to pick up school children.
The council has announced, that as from tomorrow (Thursday) the Eastgate cemetery entrance gates on the drive will be closed after 2.30pm, Monday to Friday, after concerns that parents picking up children from nearby William Alvey School were using it as an unofficial free car park/waiting area.
This, it is claimed was causing issues with access to the cemetery, as well as disrupting funerals. A council statement says it is “owing to continued problems with vehicle parking by non-cemetery users at certain times”.
It adds: “Pedestrian access will still be available via the smaller gate and footpath on the drive. Other arrangements will be put in place for any funerals taking place at these times.
“We apologise for any inconvenience and the situation will be reviewed on a regular basis. Any queries should be directed to the Clerk on 01529 303456 or firstname.lastname@example.org.”
This comes as the county council’s parking wardens launch a crack down on drivers parking obstructing the cycle paths leading to the A statement from William Alvey School headteacher Stephen Tapley said: “We have spoken to the parking warden today and he has confirmed that any car parked on the cycle track (causing an obstruction) on either side of the road is likely to receive a ticket. We are trying to seek funding to run additional walking bus pick up points.
“We want to ensure the children are as safe as they can be on their way to and from school, I am in favour of any measure that helps in this regard. I know some families have to use their cars in the morning and we can’t ignore this either. We need to consider all alternatives.
A CCTV van pilot scheme has also been regularly visiting the area checking on cars braking parking laws.
Mr Tapley added: “We are keen to promote anything that helps make the children who attend our school safer. We have tried a number of different initiatives.
“Over the last year we have:
“Introduced a daily walking bus from the NCCD car park (school funded);
“Taken part in three walking challenges to encourage parents and children to walk to school (‘20:20’; ‘3 a week’ and ‘10,000 steps’, as featured on BCC Radio Lincs recently);
“Been chosen as one of only eight schools in Lincolnshire to take part in the ANPR (CCTV) parking scheme;
“Asked Lincolnshire parking to consider funding two additional walking bus schemes using the fines collected from the parking pilot;
“Run a scooter day to encourage children to scooter to school (as featured in the Sleaford Standard);
“Continued to offer Bikewise training to all 90 of our Year 5 children;
“Asked the ‘green’ parking wardens to patrol as regularly as they can;
“Contacted the road safety team on numerous occasions in an effort to reintroduce a crossing patrol;
“Through ‘The Wasp’, our weekly newsletter, asked parents to consider how and where they park outside the school;
“Worked alongside Sleafordian (Coaches) to consider an additional bus service.”
Mr Tapley continued: “I cannot condone parking in the cemetery at any time, it’s disrespectful. I have made this very clear to all our parents, several times.”
He did add a note of compromise to parents though: “The cycle track is a cycle track and parents shouldn’t really park on it. However, it has been used at pick up and drop off times more recently and it is a little unreasonable to introduce a total ban without notifying the school first.
“Safety will always be our first priority, but we can’t ignore the fact that lots of our parents need to use their cars in the morning and I hope all agencies, including the school, can work together to think of new, innovative strategies, to help offer our parents a realistic alternative to the cycle track, Eastgate or the cemetery.”