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Jenna Sanctuary launches road safety petition amid fears of dangerous parking outside Gaywood Primary School in King’s Lynn





“Horrifying” incidents which nearly resulted in children being knocked down outside their school have prompted worried parents to launch a road safety petition.

Jenna Sanctuary, 34, who has two children attending Gaywood Primary School, contacted the Lynn News “from a place of sheer desperation” after a series of near misses outside the building.

She says that an ever-growing number of vehicles parking on Field Road, which also provides access to St Martha's Catholic Primary School, is creating dangerous scenarios for youngsters – particularly when they are being picked up after their lessons have finished in the afternoon.

Jenna feels that school children are 'dicing with death' outside the school
Jenna feels that school children are 'dicing with death' outside the school

Now, Jenna has started a petition calling for improved traffic calming measures to be put in place. It has already received more than 190 signatures, and suggests that daily traffic wardens or enforcement cameras could help.

Jenna, who has lived in the vicinity of the schools for more than 15 years, now refuses to let her Year 5 child walk to class alone out of fear of drivers who have “complete disregard for any parking restrictions”.

She said: “Of late the issue has become so dangerous.

Jenna Sanctuary, a mum to two primary school pupils, is worried about the safety on Field Road during busy school hours
Jenna Sanctuary, a mum to two primary school pupils, is worried about the safety on Field Road during busy school hours

“I have witnessed a couple of very close incidents with young children outside Gaywood Primary – one where a car had been parked on double yellow lines, impairing the view for pedestrians and very nearly knocking down a toddler who they were unable to see due to their poorly judged parking.”

She said on another occasion, a pedestrian crossing was blocked by “an illegally parked car”, which in turn nearly resulted in a child nearly being struck. She described this as “a horrifying moment to witness”.

Jenna added: “Traffic wardens have been present on a couple of occasions during the past few months.

“This has made a significant difference to the area, the traffic flow and the car parking situation, allowing children to safely leave school without, frankly, dicing with death.”

Parents have signed a petition to try and improve safety outside the schools
Parents have signed a petition to try and improve safety outside the schools

Police guidance states that if a vehicle is parked on zig-zag lines, “dangerously”, or in a way that would prevent emergency vehicles from accessing a road, then it is classed as illegal.

If vehicles are parked near a school entrance, anyone who is concerned is normally urged to report these issues to their local councils.

However, a Norfolk Police spokesperson told the Lynn News: “Although we are not the primary agency who deal with car parking issues, we continue to engage with local authorities and schools if it presents a danger or causes major obstruction.”

Jenna Sanctuary, a mum to two primary school pupils, is worried about the safety on Field Road during busy school hours
Jenna Sanctuary, a mum to two primary school pupils, is worried about the safety on Field Road during busy school hours

Jenna has spoken with Cllr Rob Colwell, who represents Gaywood South on Norfolk County Council, who says he has written to the police and local authorities asking for action to be taken on Field Road.

He said that he believes a dedicated traffic enforcement officer would be “ideal”.

“When I heard that some of the local parents had set up this petition, I was very happy to sign,” Cllr Colwell said.

Jenna Sanctuary, a mum to two primary school pupils, is worried about the safety on Field Road during busy school hours
Jenna Sanctuary, a mum to two primary school pupils, is worried about the safety on Field Road during busy school hours

A county council spokesperson has said the authority is currently testing a ‘school streets’ initiative with Norfolk Police, which can be viewed on its ‘safe school run pledge’ webpage.

They added: “Considerate parking outside schools is an ongoing challenge. Norfolk County Council is trialling various methods across the county to try and alleviate parking pressures including appropriate police enforcement where necessary and educational messages.

“Some examples of the methods we are trialling include the safe school run pledge to encourage responsible parking and a ‘safe school gate’ environment. We also work with schools to encourage families to consider other methods of getting to school such as walking or cycling.”

To view or sign the petition, search for ‘Jenna Sanctuary’ and ‘safety for the children change.org’ online.

The road during non-busy hours, which Jenna feels it should be like during pick-up hours
The road during non-busy hours, which Jenna feels it should be like during pick-up hours
A junction entering the road
A junction entering the road
Vehicles parked on Field Road, which serves two schools
Vehicles parked on Field Road, which serves two schools

Got a story? Email kris.johnston@iliffepublishing.co.uk



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