A CONSULTATION has started over proposals to impose parking restrictions around Covingham Primary School to tackle nuisance parking when parents drop off and pick up pupils.

Couns Dale Heenan and Richard Hurley (Con, Covingham and Dorcan) are seeking public opinion of a trial scheme they say is urgently needed to stop parents blocking driveways and footpaths, and churning up grass verges.

Swindon Council’s proposal is to introduce parking restrictions in April to cover the peak school hours of 8.45am to 3pm, Monday to Thursday, and 8.45am to 2pm on Fridays.

Single yellow lines and ‘School Keep Clear’ markings would be laid across the front of the school site, in The Harriers, and along Terncliffe to prevent vehicles stopping and to protect the pedestrian entrances.

The scheme would be enforceable by the council’s parking wardens, rather than the police.

Residents could park on the lines in the evenings and at weekends. However, if they park there during the restricted hours, there would be the risk of enforcement.

Coun Hurley said: “The problem is parents are coming, dropping their kids off, blocking people’s driveways and the pavement, stopping the residents from getting out. Some of the residents have been abused by some of the parents, so it’s a big problem.

“And this has gone on far too long. That’s the reason behind it. We need to do something to help the residents.

“Residents cannot event get their cars out. God forbid if there was an emergency down there, it would be an absolute nightmare. And it’s these two particular times of the day.”

Coun Hurley, who has been delivering letters to inform residents of the consultation, said that there was enough parking near St Paul’s Church and the local shops, but parents were not prepared to walk.

This is the latest scheme devised by Swindon Council and ward councillors, working with the school, to try to reduce the impact of traffic and parking on local residents.

In March last year, funding was secured for a ‘Five minute walk to school zone’. In addition, the school now has a walking bus running daily from St Paul’s Church, although ward councillors say this could do with some support with additional adult volunteers and wider promotion to families.

After the latest consultation, Swindon Council intends to use an ‘experimental’ traffic regulation order to trial the scheme for between six and 18 months. Swindon Council will then make a decision on whether, or not, the parking restrictions should continue on a permanent basis.

To comment, visit www.eastswindon.com/parkingrestrictions and complete the online form by March 22.