Spotlight on parking problems at The Costello School

Spotlight on parking problems at The Costello School

Cars park illegally on yellow lines outside The Costello School

Gazette reporter Emily Roberts talks to a driver parked outside The Costello School

Spotlight on parking problems at The Costello School

First published in News Basingstoke Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

SPENDING less than 30 minutes outside The Costello School in Basingstoke provided clear proof that parents and other adults picking up children have not got the message about heeding pleas not to park outside the gates. Many people are just blatantly ignoring no-stopping signs.

In February, The Gazette went along to observe drop-off and pick-up times at The Costello School to find out just how bad the problem was with parents parking illegally on single and double yellow lines.

At the time, it was a year since 14-year-old Louise Eames suffered fatal injuries after she was hit by a car while crossing London Road, on her way to the school in Crossborough Hill.

Although the accident was no one’s fault, her death should have acted as a tragic reminder to drivers about the need to drive, and park, sensibly in the area.

At the time, The Gazette witnessed more than 50 drivers parking illegally, putting schoolchildren trying to cross the road in an even more vulnerable position.

We published pictures of offending cars in the paper in the hope it might shame the drivers into improving their behaviour.

Seven months later, we returned to see if the situation had improved. The yellow lines had been repainted, and there were clear signs informing drivers of the restrictions. But still numerous cars pulled up and parked on Crossborough Hill.

The restrictions on the single yellow lines ban parking between 8am and 7pm from Monday to Friday – yet around 10 cars were parked there when we arrived just before 3pm.

A mother-of-three, who did not want to be named, said: “Everyone does it. There’s nowhere else to park. I’m in a rush and there’s not enough parking. I know we shouldn’t do it – it is dangerous.”

Martin Wigmore, from Chineham, has two children at Costello and was also parked on the single yellow line.

Despite Costello staff constantly asking parents in newsletters not to park outside the school, he claimed not to have seen any of these pleas.

He was parked directly next to a sign informing him of the restrictions, but said: “They (the school) should make it clear where we can park.”

A taxi driver for All District Cars pulled up in the bus stop, and said: “A teacher told me to park here.”

She admitted not knowing the restrictions, adding: “I don’t have a clue whether I should park in a bus stop.”

A taxi also parked on the zig-zag lines in London Road, right where children struggle to cross. But despite numerous parents still flouting the law, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council wardens have incredibly only issued one parking control notice between March 1 and October 1, in Crossborough Hill.

Julia Mortimore, headteacher at the school, said: “We obviously still encourage parents not to park on London Road or Crossborough Hill to keep a clear flow of traffic and make it safer for students, but a number of parents still persist in parking in the wrong places.”

She said plans are finally in place for proper crossings to be installed in London Road.

Councillor Mel Kendal, Hampshire County Council’s executive member for environment and transport, confirmed this and said: “The county council has developed proposals for a series of uncontrolled crossing points, with dropped kerbs and tactile paving, to be installed on London Road, to help pedestrians and encourage traffic to travel at an appropriate speed.

“The crossing points will have refuge islands with bollards to indicate the crossing locations to drivers and protect users. The tactile paving will assist those with visual impairments to identify where the crossing points are.

“There are also changes planned for the Eastrop Lane junction with London Road which will help to encourage drivers to moderate their speeds as they turn out of the junction.

“The scheme will be subject to county council approval in December and it is expected that work will begin towards the end of January.”

Comments (12)

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1:39pm Sun 14 Oct 12

Marina Morris says...

Once the football club move in next door there will be plenty of off-road tarmac to wait off the road.
Once the football club move in next door there will be plenty of off-road tarmac to wait off the road. Marina Morris
  • Score: 0

2:32pm Sun 14 Oct 12

The Mad Mike 1 says...

If the council were that worried about the problem then they would put more wardens on there to book every car,every time they park on the yellow lines, for a couple of weeks at least. Am afraid the only way to make parents take notice is to hit them in the pocket.
If the council were that worried about the problem then they would put more wardens on there to book every car,every time they park on the yellow lines, for a couple of weeks at least. Am afraid the only way to make parents take notice is to hit them in the pocket. The Mad Mike 1
  • Score: 0

6:04pm Sun 14 Oct 12

RgPostcode says...

Maybe the kids should walk, maybe the parents should drop them off at Eastrop Park, Maybe the school should invest into putting a safe place within their school grounds.
Maybe the kids should walk, maybe the parents should drop them off at Eastrop Park, Maybe the school should invest into putting a safe place within their school grounds. RgPostcode
  • Score: 0

5:30pm Mon 15 Oct 12

Cynical Reader says...

All this is happening just a few yards from the Police Station.............
..
All this is happening just a few yards from the Police Station............. .. Cynical Reader
  • Score: 0

10:54pm Mon 15 Oct 12

Folkestone Saint says...

How many of these selfish g1t's also drive past those who can still walk well above the speed limit, maybe the school should be given a licence to issue tickets and put 75% of the funds towards the school and let the council have the rest for doing what they always do untill it is too late "nothing"
How many of these selfish g1t's also drive past those who can still walk well above the speed limit, maybe the school should be given a licence to issue tickets and put 75% of the funds towards the school and let the council have the rest for doing what they always do untill it is too late "nothing" Folkestone Saint
  • Score: 0

12:53pm Tue 16 Oct 12

Jonty11 says...

Chances are when a parking warden comes up the road, all the drivers move off......so tickets can't be issued for a moving vehicle!

But how about sticking up a CCTV camera (if there isn't one already) - pop up some signs and nick everyone who parks there who shouldn't do by sending the ticket to the registered keeper of the vehicle .....that should sort it out!
Chances are when a parking warden comes up the road, all the drivers move off......so tickets can't be issued for a moving vehicle! But how about sticking up a CCTV camera (if there isn't one already) - pop up some signs and nick everyone who parks there who shouldn't do by sending the ticket to the registered keeper of the vehicle .....that should sort it out! Jonty11
  • Score: 0

1:29pm Tue 16 Oct 12

Sam_Walker123456 says...

Jonty11 says...'Chances are when a parking warden comes up the road, all the drivers move off......so tickets can't be issued for a moving vehicle!'
If the drivers stay with their cars, then technically they are not parked. Yellow lines do not prohibit dropping off and picking up. Only when the driver leaves the vehicle is it parked.
However, if the vehicle pulls up on the zig-zag or bus stop to drop off or pick up then that is an offence.
Unfortunately it is the same all around Basingstoke - many car drivers will not walk more than 2 metres. They park on pavements, grass verges, disabled spaces, across let-downs in kerbs, blocking entrances, etc. We have plenty of laws to but too little enforcement.
Jonty11 says...'Chances are when a parking warden comes up the road, all the drivers move off......so tickets can't be issued for a moving vehicle!' If the drivers stay with their cars, then technically they are not parked. Yellow lines do not prohibit dropping off and picking up. Only when the driver leaves the vehicle is it parked. However, if the vehicle pulls up on the zig-zag or bus stop to drop off or pick up then that is an offence. Unfortunately it is the same all around Basingstoke - many car drivers will not walk more than 2 metres. They park on pavements, grass verges, disabled spaces, across let-downs in kerbs, blocking entrances, etc. We have plenty of laws to but too little enforcement. Sam_Walker123456
  • Score: 0

12:02pm Wed 17 Oct 12

jonone says...

Sam got it in one. The problem is entirely one of laziness. I bet most of these could easily walk from home, those that do need to drive could I am sure park a distance away and walk. Too many car drivers are too lazy - I often walk to my local shop and often see people from my road and other adjacent estates driving to the same location!
Sam got it in one. The problem is entirely one of laziness. I bet most of these could easily walk from home, those that do need to drive could I am sure park a distance away and walk. Too many car drivers are too lazy - I often walk to my local shop and often see people from my road and other adjacent estates driving to the same location! jonone
  • Score: 0

3:05pm Wed 17 Oct 12

robertspet8 says...

One of my colleagues lives a 20 minute walk from our office - he could cycle here in 5 minutes. But he drives, which, because of traffic, takes him 20 to 30 minutes, and then he spends up to 10 minutes finding a parking space. He is young and fit and neither lazy nor stupid but he does not seem to be able to change this habit. The only explanation he can give is that he might need the use of the car in an emergency. The most likely places for an emergency will be at home or his child's school both of which he could reach quicker by foot or bike!!
There is something deep within us which wont allow us to give up our cars.
One of my colleagues lives a 20 minute walk from our office - he could cycle here in 5 minutes. But he drives, which, because of traffic, takes him 20 to 30 minutes, and then he spends up to 10 minutes finding a parking space. He is young and fit and neither lazy nor stupid but he does not seem to be able to change this habit. The only explanation he can give is that he might need the use of the car in an emergency. The most likely places for an emergency will be at home or his child's school both of which he could reach quicker by foot or bike!! There is something deep within us which wont allow us to give up our cars. robertspet8
  • Score: 0

12:46pm Thu 18 Oct 12

Best_Name_Ever says...

Martin Wigmore from Chineham appears to be like Samantha Baker from Oakley - both need to be told what to do as logic fails them.
Martin Wigmore from Chineham appears to be like Samantha Baker from Oakley - both need to be told what to do as logic fails them. Best_Name_Ever
  • Score: 0

2:27pm Fri 19 Oct 12

66Mike says...

My children use the bus to get to and from Costello. Perhaps Stagecoach should offer a greater child discount to encourage more use of buses to and from the School. I hope that the Gazette will have a reporter and camera in Cliddesden Road for the next open evening? Maybe we will also see either the Police or Council traffic wardens taking action against all the drivers that park on double yellow lines, pavement, cycle paths and peoples driveways or does the Gazette, Police and Traffic Wardens not work once it gets dark in the evening?
My children use the bus to get to and from Costello. Perhaps Stagecoach should offer a greater child discount to encourage more use of buses to and from the School. I hope that the Gazette will have a reporter and camera in Cliddesden Road for the next open evening? Maybe we will also see either the Police or Council traffic wardens taking action against all the drivers that park on double yellow lines, pavement, cycle paths and peoples driveways or does the Gazette, Police and Traffic Wardens not work once it gets dark in the evening? 66Mike
  • Score: 0

3:31pm Fri 19 Oct 12

Sam_Walker123456 says...

66Mike says...'does the Gazette, Police and Traffic Wardens not work once it gets dark in the evening?'
I can vouch for the Police and Gazette, but you might have a valid point about the Traffic Wardens.
66Mike says...'does the Gazette, Police and Traffic Wardens not work once it gets dark in the evening?' I can vouch for the Police and Gazette, but you might have a valid point about the Traffic Wardens. Sam_Walker123456
  • Score: 0

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