Parking wars in Hailsham: mums and residents clash

Parking chaos outside a Hailsham primary school is driving a rift between residents and parents.

Angry mums are clashing with elderly residents as tempers fray due to the lack of parking outside Grovelands Primary School.

Traffic problems at Grovelands school. Phil Carpenter and residents

Traffic problems at Grovelands school. Phil Carpenter and residents

Residents claim up to 100 cars line Grovelands Road and the cul-de-sacs Derwent Close and Cameron Close in the morning and afternoons as parents drop of and pick up their children.

Phil Carpenter, who lives on Derwent Close, said residents are saying they feel trapped in their own homes as people block their driveways.

He said: “When parents come to pick up children they have effectively nowhere to go but the cul-de-sacs and they find they are trapped in, so they just park anywhere and they have no choice but to block drives and clog up roads so residents cannot go anywhere.

“People fairly regularly park over our drive and when asked to move decline either politely or impolitely. I’ve had a couple of clashes and had to walk away and I guess most people would report a similar problem.

“I’d go out and say excuse me, you have parked over my drive and most people do tell me to go forth and multiply. There are some people who say they are terrible sorry but the majority will not.

“If you choose to remonstrate it’s once a week but most people remonstrate with people when they have to because they know the kind of abuse they might get.”

Residents also fear the problem will become worse after the school lodged a planning application to erect a security fence and move the main entrance from Dunbar Drive to Grovelands Road.

Grovelands Road resident Gary Vine said traffic at 3pm in the area was ridiculous.

The retired fireman added: “The majority of people are fine but you can pick the ones out because they park on one side of the road making it one way traffic and people come into my driveway to let people past, it’s just gridlock and won’t get better if they want to change the entrance to the school. There will be 90 per cent more traffic coming this way rather than Dunbar Drive.”

Fellow Grovelands Road resident Frances Holt said she could not understand why they did not leave the entrance where it is.

She said: “The main concern is when they swap the gate over, that’s when the problems are going to happen. If they move that gate it’s going to get worse. We all disagree with it because it is going to be awful.

Richard Miller, chairman of Governors at the school said: The staff and governors are looking to make the site at Grovelands School more secure, in line with Ofsted recommendations for the safeguarding of children.

“We have been working closely with the Police and the Local Authority as we are aware that the site at present is open to the public and is often used as a public walk through.

“In addition to this, and despite requests for sensible driving and parking, the site is on private property and as such the Headteacher and Governors are not able to enforce the Road Traffic Act. These two factors combine to create a situation where the children still remain at risk while on site.

“In line with other schools in Hailsham and across the country, schools in East Sussex no longer allow parents and carers access to park on the school premises for health and safety reasons.”