PARKING chaos outside a Batley school will result in seriously injury or even death unless action is taken, a resident has warned.
Local businessman Paul Halloran says Carlinghow Hill has become virtually impassable at the beginning and end of the school day outside Batley Grammar, due to the numbers of parents defying parking restrictions while dropping off or picking up their children.
And proposals to open another school for 250 Muslim girls, just yards further down the hill, will effectively make the place a no-go zone, said Mr Halloran.
Despite Batley Grammar posting teachers outside to monitor the traffic, parents are simply ignoring them, he added.
“Since it became a free school in 2011, the number of pupils has risen sharply. I’d say the traffic has doubled and the situation is absolutely crazy. The school has to have a traffic plan,” he said.
“What we have now is road anarchy and residents have had enough. If the plan to turn the old hospital into a school goes ahead, it’s going to be madness.”
Mr Halloran said local police didn’t bother attending a meeting the school held and at which he said headmistress Bridget Tullie told parents “we have not got a problem”.
“The school is turning a blind eye to it,” said Mr Halloran. “I was taking my daughter to St Mary’s school and a car was parked on double yellow lines, when a child suddenly jumped out on the road side. That could have been a fatality.
“Buses can’t get up the hill because cars are parked on pavements and local residents are having to take long detours to try to get to work.”
Last week councillors delayed a decision on a plan to relocate the Zakaria Girls’ School from Taylor Street to the former Batley hospital, concerned about the traffic issues.
The Muslim Education Trust claims the school would have earlier start and finish times – 8am and 3.30pm – and that it will ship some pupils in by mini-bus.
But said Mr Halloran: “I can’t see that happening. Even if it did, it would only exacerbate the current problems, cramming more traffic into a road that already can’t cope.
“And are they really telling us that parents with children at both the new school and at either of the two local high schools are going to make separate trips?
“People are burying their heads in the sand and thinking ‘if we ignore this long enough, it will go away as a problem’. Well it won’t.”
Planning officers have recommended the new school plan for approval subject to satisfactory traffic arrangements, which councillors have demanded more detail on.