Head tries to ‘Bridge’ build with residents

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By Debbie McKelvey

debbie.mckelvey@jpress.co.uk

@banleader

A resident in the vicinity of the primary school, Anne McQuaid, expressed her exasperation on the Banbridge Saints and Sinners Facebook Page, opening an extensive debate.

“I live on the Ballygowan Road and at school times I can hardly get up or down it with cars parked on either side of the road,” she said.

“It’s worse for people living in Larchwood, the cars are half way up the estate.”

The comments sparked a barrage of responses and Anne continued: “What do we do now to try and get this problem sorted - any suggestions?

“I know letters have been sent home to parents regularly but it doesn’t seem to have done any good.

“Maybe the principal could come out and move them on at drop off and pick up times.”

Principal Teresa Devlin was quick to address the furore, but outlined her limitations as a traffic warden.

“The school has been named on a social media page recently by local residents who have been very critical of the way our parents have been parking outside the school,” she said. I do not have the authority to go onto the road and direct traffic!”

Calling on parents to help improve the situation, she again urged them to refrain from arriving at the school before the gates are open to prevent queues down the Ballygowan Road which cause obstruction and make the road dangerous.

Amongst other measures, she also asked them to refrain from parking in front of neighbouring driveways.

Acknowledging the frustration at pick-up time, she added: “A little patience and good manners goes a very long way, so if you see someone in the driveway without a smile – give them one of yours!”

Bridge Integrated Primary School opened its doors in 1987 with only 75 pupils, but today has over 400 pupils.

“It is not alone in its traffic congestion problems with many schools across the UK seeking solutions.

Gillian Woods said: “Every primary school in the town has issues with parking so this isn’t an isolated case,” and Kerry Patterson said: “it’s not a fault of the school, they’ve even had police keeping check.”

Meanwhile there have been calls for the green in front of the school to be converted into parking bays for parents.