Joining Rugby police on parking patrol outside Paddox Primary School

Left to right: PCSO Nina Parish, PC Ruth Eldridge and PCSO Amie Hextall.
Left to right: PCSO Nina Parish, PC Ruth Eldridge and PCSO Amie Hextall.

Rugby police have spoken on the issue of dangerous parking near Paddox Primary School after being joined on patrol by the Advertiser.

Rugby Town East Safer Neighbourhood Team began patrolling the area around the Fareham Avenue school after residents identified inconsiderate parking in the area as a serious issue.

On Tuesday October 31 the Advertiser joined PC Ruth Elridge and PCSOs Nina Parish and Amie Hextall for an afternoon patrol at the school.

PC Eldridge said the aim of the patrols is to educate the public on the dangers of inconsiderate parking when picking up their children from the school.

She said: “We’re here to try to talk to them. We want to be working with communities as opposed to working against them.”

PC Eldridge said many of those found parking dangerously near the school are issued with a warning.

Repeat offenders can be issued with a ticket.

All three officers said the response from parents, including those parking dangerously, has been mostly positive – although a small number of parents spoken to while parking incosiderately have been hostile.

PCSO Parish said: “The majority of people are always happy to see us – they are really appreciative.”

All three officers said their regular presence at the school is making a significant difference in the amount of people parking dangerously.

PC Eldridge said: “I often say I wish people would put hi-vis jackets on.

“It seems that drivers only have to see someone wearing a hi-vis jacket and they begin to behave better.”

Parking opposite or near junctions, blocking driveways and double-parking are among the dangerous habits of some drivers.

PC Eldridge said one of the most serious risks is that children may run into the road and not be seen in time if drivers’ views are blocked by inconsiderately parked vehicles.

During the patrol a collision almost happened when a child ran into the road and was almost not seen by a vehicle.

PCSO Hextall said the near-miss shows how important patrols in the area are.

PC Eldridge said it is important residents inform the police of issues so action can be taken.

Residents previously took to social media to slam what they say is inconsiderate parking near the school.

One resident said some motorists were blocking pavements and drives – meaning pedestrians are sometimes forced to walk in the road.

A spokesperson for the school previously said: “Paddox is delighted that additional police patrols are being introduced in order to remind parents of the perils of dangerous parking.

"In the Paddox Home/School agreement, that parents, the school and pupils sign, there is a bullet point for parents which states: Ensure all children’s safety by observing the parking/stopping restrictions in the streets around the school.

"Each year and several times throughout the year, the school reminds parents/carers about the need for careful and responsible parking at drop off and pick up times.”

Staff from the school regularly watch its entrances at home time to assist in keeping pupils safe from the results of dangerous parking.