School run chaos in Welwyn as ambulance can’t park

TRAFFIC chaos ensued when an ambulance tried in vain to park in a busy street during the morning school run.

The incident followed repeated warnings from householders that havoc would be caused by just such an incident.

Residents in Becket Gardens, Welwyn, have been complaining for many years about the traffic created when parents drop off and collect their children from Tenterfield Nursery School and Welwyn St Mary’s Primary School, highlighting their concerns over access to the road in an emergency.

Their fears were realised last Tuesday when an ambulance was called to the street around 8.30am and initially had nowhere to park until a neighbour moved his own car and directed them onto their drive.

Parents of both London Road based-schools frequently use the road to park, often on double yellow lines, or turn around.

Jim Bassett, who has lived in the street for 30 years, said: “Residents often get blocked in and one neighbour had his gates damaged several times because of cars turning around in the road and now has had to remove them.

“Every day there is someone parking on the double yellow lines and the drivers often tell you it’s not their problem. It’s just laziness.

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“The residents of Becket Gardens and London Road feel that not enough is being done by the authorities to find ways to improve and police the problem.”

Another Becket Gardens resident said: “Something has to be done about these mothers as they can be very rude.

“They all have big 4x4s or BMWs and block us in so when we want to get out we can’t.”

A Welwyn Hatfield Council spokeswoman said: “Residents have been in contact with us about their parking concerns in Becket Gardens - as a result of this, parking enforcement officers have been paying attention to that area.

“The officers do concentrate their efforts in town centres and in the centres of larger villages, as this is where the majority of parking violations occur.

“Therefore, they are not always able to regularly patrol the area during school start and finish times.

“Residents can help though by calling the parking office on 01279 655261 when they witness cars parked on double yellow lines. If an enforcement officer is nearby, they will send them along to issue parking tickets.”

East of England Ambulance Service spokesman Gary Sanderson said parking issues were not raised by the crew to their line managers.

Both the school and nursery told the Welwyn Hatfield Times they do what they can to ensure parents park considerately.