POLICE were forced to respond after selfish parents created school-run gridlock.
Residents around Fixby Junior and Infant School at Lightridge Road have reported fierce confrontations and even threats of violence from drivers who insist on dropping their children off at school gates and even parking on people’s drives.
The problem grew so bad that police investigated the possibility of naming and shaming parents in the school newsletter and getting pupils to administer “parking tickets” to their mums and dads.
The atmosphere became so bad community support officers were used in a “soft policing” operation to convince parents to park more responsibly and walk their children the few hundred metres to lessons.
One resident said: “There has always been school traffic, but late last year it became notably worse.
“Every day at 8.55am you could hear the horns starting off. A lot of the mums never did any driving other than the school run and it was very bad tempered. Emails were sent to the school but initially it was very much a “whatever”, “don’t bother us” response.
“Once I came outside and there was a car parked across my drive with the driver absent and an adult passenger waiting in the car
“I told them that I wanted to get my own car out of the house and if this happened again I would call the police.”
One email to the neighbourhood policing team from a resident described a confrontation saying: “In fact a group of them, instigated by one, were getting heavy handed, with a punch from the other side being thrown on several occasions.
“All this at school closing time at 3.30pm on Tuesday afternoon and in the school playground.”
Police responded to mounting concerns about the tensions around the school by issuing letters to all the motorists whose registration plates had been passed to officers by locals.
The letter reminded the parents there were legal consequences to illegal parking on school zig zags and the area was being treated as a priority which would mean extra patrols.
Residents have acknowledged that since the step-up in the police presence six weeks ago there has been an improvement in the situation and residents were thankful for the “soft approach” which seemed to influence parents’ parking.
Officers in the Neighbourhood Policing Team have advised residents they will continue to monitor the situation.
Headteacher Jenny Chamberlain said: “Car parking around schools is an issue not only in Kirklees but all over the country, and we have been taking strong and positive action to tackle the problem in Fixby.
“The safety of pupils is of paramount importance and we are working closely with the police and the radio safety unit.
“They will both be attending a parents’ evening later this month and offering advice on the different ways that parents can help to ease congestion and increase safety around school.
“We fully understand that many parents need to bring children in the car, but when that’s the case we are encouraging people to park further away.
“We’ve also looked into other measures such as a ‘walking bus’ and an informal ticketing system and we have been grateful for the support of the police and road safety unit.”