Parents cut up rough over school parking

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POLICE were called after parents made violent threats during a dispute over parking outside Ripley Infants School.

The argument broke out on Monday June 30, when Governor Damien Lee told two parents not to park on the pavement as part of an ongoing campaign to improve safety on Kirk Close.

Mr Lee told the News he was approached by a man and woman who wanted him to move so they could park and became aggressive when Mr Lee refused. Mr Lee said: “It led to some harsh words. A couple of other parents piled in and started shouting about how people should mind their own business. One of them threatened to beat me up. I was concerned it would escalate. We have a small very vocal minority of parents who think they should be allowed to park anywhere - but the vast majority are behind our safety campaign.”

Mr Lee said the campaign to discourage parents from parking on pavements or over junctions during school drop-off and pick-up times had been running for seven months. “Around 44 children are killed or seriously injured every day on their way to and from school in the UK,” he added. “Parking on pavements puts children in danger and causes problems for everyone else - especially wheelchair users and people with prams.”

He said the school is now pressing to get prohibitive signs outside the school and is calling for those who break the rules to face proper penalties. He said: “We have been telling people you’re putting your children in danger and you’re breaking the law. It’s taken a police officer to come down and tell them they’ll get fined.”

A spokeswoman for Derbyshire police said: “There are yellow zig-zag lines outside the school - but they are non-enforcable and we can’t issue tickets. They’re there purely for the safety of children. We need to educate people as to why the markings are there - for the safety of the children.”

She added that where possible cops try and have a visible presence at schools to ensure people park safely.