Parents warned to stop illegally parking after car reverses into schoolchildren

    POLICE have written to parents to warn them about illegal parking outside a school after a group of children were hit by a car that was reversing.

    It happened at Cage Green Primary School, which is also home to the Phoenix Centre for Autism and has led to concerned parents launching a petition calling for action to stop parking on double yellow lines.

    The school is situated next to Hugh Christie Technology College and Ridge View School, meaning hundreds of cars descend on the surrounding roads every day.

    The incident occurred when a parent, who does not wished to be named, was walking across White Cottage Road with her children, as well as three other youngsters.

    In the letter, PCSO Linda Baker said: “When she started to cross…it was clear and then a car started to reverse into her six year old daughter, and the other children including the buggy. She frantically started to bang on the back of the car and shout at the driver to get it to stop whilst it continued to reverse into her, knocking them to the floor.

    “This has been a very traumatic incident for her and her family, which they are still trying to recover from.

    ‘Unacceptable’

    “Despite this happening drivers are still continuing to park their vehicles on the yellow lines and pavements in White Cottage Road, which is just not acceptable.”

    No serious injuries were sustained although the letter urged parents to park on the nearby Denbeigh Drive and Hop Garden Road where there is ‘adequate’ space and is only a ‘short walk from the school’.

    But the problems have persisted, so one parent, Sara Hasted, whose son attends the school, has launched a petition. She has demanded local authorities do more to stop the ‘out of control’ situation as well as appealing to parents to change their habits.

    She also revealed that she has been advised by police to stop taking pictures of illegal parkers as it was creating tension amongst parents. .

    As possible solutions, Miss Hasted suggests:

    • Installing CCTV outside the school that can help with the prosecution of offenders
    • Closing the road during school drop off and pick up times
    • Improving signage outside the school
    • Employing more traffic wardens

    “The double yellow lines are there for a reason and people are breaking the law day after day with no respect or regard for our children’s safety just so they have to walk a shorter distance,” said Misss Hasted.

    On Monday morning [January 23] PCSO Baker patrolled the road to deter illegal parking but by the afternoon parents had reverted to doing ‘just the same’, according to Miss Hasted.

    The head teacher, Mr Graeme Garthwaite said the school is working with all relevant authorities to improve the situation including the borough council and the police.

    Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council are responsible for parking enforcement. Spokesman Robert styles said: “The borough council is aware of the issues and is in liaison with the police and school.”

    The police have confirmed that they have spoken to the driver and the mother. Enquiries are ongoing.