Angry residents driven mad by problem parkers in Triangle

Traffic on Butterworth Lane in Triangle, close to Triangle Primary School
Traffic on Butterworth Lane in Triangle, close to Triangle Primary School

Angry residents in Triangle say they are being driven mad by parents blocking roads around the local primary school.

People living on Butterworth Lane and Hollins Street close to the school say drop-off and pick-up times regularly see cars congesting the roads and making them inaccessible.

They say the problem came to a head recently when an ambulance couldn't get through the blockade of cars to attend an emergency at a nearby house in which a resident died.

One resident, who did not want to be named, said: "We have emails going back to January 2017 from residents saying it's a public safety issue.

"We said that with the level of difficulty caused by parked cars, should emergency vehicles need access at peak times, it would be an issue.

"And unfortunately, that's been the case.

"The ambulance couldn't get to them, due to what is an entirely avoidable problem.

"But we've heard nothing from the council, they've done nothing about it.

"They don't respond to emails, the police don't get involved.

"The only person who has shown any willingness is Councillor Robert Thornber.

"Someone needs to be held to account. It's not acceptable for it to be ignored.

"The school isn't interested. They have a car park for drop-offs and pick-ups but the parents like to stand around and chat so they clog up the road.

"Between 8am and 9am, and 3pm and 4pm you can't get on or off the street.

"There are simple solutions. We have applied to make the street residents-only for parking, but that needs to be part of a wider solution.

"The school needs to start using their car park, and they also have mini buses that could be used to run a shuttle service.

"There have been a couple of elderly residents who have needed ambulances, but that was not at peak times and they were taken to hospital.

"But if there's a fire, you'd have no chance.

"It's not going to be long before a kid gets run over running between the parked cars.

"It's absolute chaos. It's an accident waiting to happen."

Another resident, who has lived in the area for more than 20 years, said: "It's a nightmare. We've had our car hit four times outside our house.

"A few weeks ago a car parked on the pavement in-front of my house and I couldn't get out of the door.

"One lady on the street who goes to pick her grandchildren up from another school sets off an hour early and reads a book while she's waiting because if she left it any later she wouldn't get out of the road."

The resident thinks permits should be introduced on the road.

"Most of the residents know who parks where, so we make it work.

"But I don't think there is anybody on the road whose car hasn't been hit.

"You stand and watch it, and it's like a comedy movie sometimes.

"It's always been bad but it seems to be getting worse. They all seem to have these 4x4's because they live up on the hills, but there just isn't the room for them on the road."

Councillor Robert Thornber (Con, Ryburn), said: "While nearly every school has parking problems at drop-off/pick up times, the situation at Triangle School is made worse by the narrowness of Butterworth Lane, coupled with Butterworth Lane being a link road between Sowerby and the A58.

"The sheer number of cars using this lane at peak times and the number of children’s parent’s vehicles of the school has created a serious parking problem not only on Butterworth Lane but has spilled onto nearby streets which are causing problems for residents.

"After meeting residents who live near the school last October I presented a petition on behalf of the residents to Calderdale Full Council where it was requested that the Council look at creating parking permits for the streets adjacent to the school, or looking at more stricter parking restrictions.

"The Council are in the process of looking at all options but it can be a slow process and can take time.

"I also have raised the issue with the head of Triangle School who has had correspondence with parents through the school newsletter to ask for more responsible parking at school times.

"Both the police and Calderdale’s parking services are continuing to visit the area at school times and are aware of the incident on Wednesday, but understandably cannot by there every school time.

"I am hoping that we can get all parties involved and create a parking plan for parents which may alleviate some of the parking issues, create a more safer environment for children accessing the school, but also ensuring that emergency vehicles can access all streets adjacent to the school at all times."

Steven Lee, Calderdale Council’s assistant director for strategic infrastructure, said: “It’s really important to us to ensure Calderdale’s communities are safe and happy places to live and visit. Parking carefully and considerately is a simple way we can all look out for each other and keep one another safe.

“We urge people to comply with all of the parking restrictions that we put in place across the borough. They are there to ensure everyone’s safety and to help traffic flow. Not following them puts people at risk and can sometimes lead to tragic circumstances, which we are always deeply saddened to hear about.

“There are School Keep Clear restrictions plus single and double yellow lines around Triangle School, which aim to keep everyone safe during busy drop-off and pick-up times. The school continues to remind people to park responsibly and legally at all times, and the Council and Police will consider enforcement action if they ignore the regulations.

“We are working on proposals to standardise all School Keep Clear markings across Calderdale to be effective between 8am and 5pm. We will continue to support the school to address parking issues, but everyone has a part to play in keeping our streets safe.

“The Council and the school encourage active forms of travel wherever possible, including walking and cycling, which are great for health, wellbeing and the environment.”