ANGRY parents are fighting a ban on cars in the grounds of a school.
For years, they have driven on to the site of St Peter’s Primary School, in Stakes Hill Road, Waterlooville, to pick up their children at home time.
But parents were dismayed when they received a letter informing them that vehicles were no longer allowed on the school site between 2.30pm and 3.45pm.
School leaders say the issue is about safety.
But parents have started a petition – now with 62 signatures – calling for the ban to be withdrawn.
They say it will lead to parking chaos in surrounding residential streets.
They are also concerned as children may have to walk for up to a mile in bad weather.
The school has also stipulated a pick-up time of 3.15pm.
Until now, parents with children at the adjacent Oaklands School were able to pick up all their children at 3.40pm.
Cathy Hudson, 36, of Balmoral Drive, Waterlooville, said: ‘As well as major disruption to parents who will now have to park on the public road, when they can find a parking space, the impact on local residents is going to be tremendous.’
Parent Garry Hall said: ‘The head thinks that siblings walking along the road and into St Peter’s using the drive is safer than remaining within the two schools’ grounds.
‘Clearly this has been pushed to us with no thought whatsoever.’
Headteacher Lorraine Phillips has defended the ban.
She said: ‘Due to the nature of our site we have had to look at the arrangements for the safe collection of children at the end of the school day.
‘A decision was taken by the schools’ leadership and the governing body to stop vehicles entering the school site at the end of the day, bringing the school in line with practices at most schools in Hampshire.
‘This decision was taken with the safety and wellbeing of pupils, staff and parents in mind and many parents have expressed their support for this new arrangement which will commence from September.
‘Special arrangements have been made for children with disabilities and any drivers that are blue badge holders.’
She added an after-school club was being set up for anyone was unable to meet the 3.15pm pick-up, with arrangements in place if the child has siblings at Oaklands.