Rainham parents and housing group have dispute over ‘dangerous’ parking

PUBLISHED: 07:00 16 March 2017

Children are having to walk through a

Children are having to walk through a "dangeorus" car park thanks to the new buildings built by Clarion Housing Group. Picture: Ellie Hoskins

Ellie Hoskins

Concerned parents are clashing with a housing group over parking by a school which they say could lead to a fatal accident.

Work on the development of the Orchard Village estate, Rainham, owned by Clarion Housing Group, has caused upset among parents at Newtons Primary School, Lowen Road.

The car park on the opposite side of the road, which was used by parents to pick up and drop off their children, has been boarded up by Clarion, forcing them to use the car park around the back of the school, owned by the housing group.

As the school has closed the front entrance, many parents assuming due to the construction work, children have to walk through the busy car park at the back to get to the building.

Mum Natasha Summers, 41, of Stanley Road, Rainham, has set up a petition which has been signed by about 150 people, asking the housing group to ensure children’s safety.

She said: “Since September, I’ve seen four near misses where children could have been killed.

“Cars are pulling in and out and reversing which children have to walk through since there is no other way of getting into the school - it’s really dangerous.

“Parents who work need to drive so need somewhere to park safely.

“If something isn’t done, a child could die.”

However, Clarion Housing Group has argued that it is parents’ responsibilities to drive responsibly.

A spokeswoman said: “We do not provide parking for the school and it’s never been our responsibility to do so.

“Individual parents should be parking responsibly for the safety of their own and other peoples’ children – even if that means parking further away from the school and walking a safe route, of which there are many.” In response to the Clarion Housing Group, Cllr Graham Williamson said: “It is not about putting blame on anyone, we just need to work together to make sure that these children are able to get to and from the school safely.”

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