Church Road, Laverstock, will be blocked off by ‘strategic parking’

THE main road through Laverstock will be blocked next week to try and encourage alternative means of children getting to school.

Church Road in Laverstock, the site of St Andrew’s, Wyvern College, St Edmund’s and St Joseph’s, will be blocked by parked cars or wheelie bins by Laverstock residents.

Instead, village residents say parents should be using the London Road Park and Ride and cycle path through Bishopdown.

Ian McLennan, Wiltshire Councillor for Laverstock, Ford and Old Sarum, said: “Parents will be leafleted on day one of term, and on day two, will find the road blocked, owing to ‘strategic parking’, by residents. This will continue, until the message is understood by parents.

“A mass incoming, to a village with many vulnerable people, (particularly along the roads near the schools), should also be recognised as a health hazard, on top of the pollution, haphazard, inconsiderate, parking and dangerous driving, by the daily incoming parents, who have no need to be there.”

Cllr McLennan says the London Road Park and Ride is the “ideal, secure, safe” alternative.

He said: “It’s free and more easily accessible parking for vehicles. It is a 12 minute walk or cycle, with a lit, well used, footpath/cycleway end to end.

“Hopefully, with full co-operation and understanding, every parent will recognise that this is in the interest of their child, as well as vulnerable local residents.”

The parish council had originally asked for Wiltshire Council to supply cones to be put along the road.

Cllr McLennan added: “I have escalated the issue big time. Just in case we are not taken seriously, I think a burst of civil disobedience may be needed”.

Nicola Bull, headteacher at Wyvern St Edmund’s, said this is an “age old issue”, and that “it must be frustrating for local residents who have purchased houses in close proximity to four schools in a row”.

Nicola said: “As ever, we will continue to do all we can to encourage our parents not to park on Church Road or the residential side roads.

“For the most part, the vast majority of our parents do not come on to Church Road – Wyvern and St Edmund’s have a combined total of over 1300 students and the vast majority of those do follow our requests– I would suggest we are talking about 20-30 families who don’t comply.”

“We have staff out on duty every day and regularly have difficult conversations with parents (that threaten our relationship) about where they park, and we have engaged regularly with many agencies and always have a representative at the Parish Council meetings ready to work with local residents however possible.”

Salisbury Journal | News