ILLEGAL and dangerous parking outside a Bournemouth primary school has led to the head teacher speaking out about fears children and residents could be put at risk if action is not taken.

Staff at St Michael’s School are growing increasingly concerned about the safety of their pupils as traffic jams regularly build outside the school gates at morning drop off and afternoon pick up times.

Parents are also often seen flouting the one-way road system along Somerville Road and either idle or park on the double yellow lines on the road.

Head teacher Anthony Evans said: “I joined the school last year and before and after the school day I was spending a lot of time outside the school, telling parents off for parking in certain places and making sure students could get in and out of the school gates alright. Basically, acting as a parking warden.

"Last year it was pretty bad, but I feel as though it has got worse. We do have a lot of parents who walk with their children to school and ride bikes or scooters and they are the ones most at danger.

"Most of our parents are very respectful when they park but there are some that drive the wrong way up the street, others are on the phone whilst driving and some just stop in the middle of the road to drop off their children. It is not safe."

The school has raised issues about insufficient parking provisions for some time but since the closing of the Durley Road Car Park earlier this year, the school says the problem has been exacerbated.

Under the planning obligation for the car park site, the council use a £22,000 contribution from developers to fund a parking enforcement officer to carry out regular patrols of the area. This will be in place for the next two years.

However, whilst the school welcomes enforcement from traffic wardens, they say they are “so infrequent” that they cannot be relied upon.

Bournemouth Echo: Photos taken outside of St Michael’s School showing illegal and dangerous parking from parents during pick up and drop off times. Photos from St Michael’s School

To ensure the safety of its pupils, the school is looking to apply for a School Street scheme which will see Somerville Road closed at peak times to allow parents to drop off their children safely and to reduce congestion in the area.

Mr Evans added: "The safety of our students is the most important thing and, with the road layout as it is, I worry that something could happen to a student as they arrive at or leave the school site.

"What we want to see is barriers at the end of the road to prevent parents dropping students directly outside the school gates. Parents will be given drop off and pick up times to minimise congestion and students can walk down the road safely.

"The only people who will be allowed through the barriers are residents who live on the street as well as students arriving or leaving on foot and on scooters or bikes.

"It is what the governors want, it is what the teachers want and what the parents want. I don’t understand why it has taken so long to put in place."

The council say they are currently developing plans for improving the traffic system around the school site that “may include” trialling a school street.

Bournemouth Echo: Photos taken outside of St Michael’s School showing illegal and dangerous parking from parents during pick up and drop off times. Photos from St Michael’s School

These plans will be subject to appropriate public consultation prior to implementation.

A BCP Council spokesperson said: “The Durley Road Car Park development included a requirement for the developer to make a financial contribution towards highway improvements around the school and on the routes to it with the objective of encouraging walking, scooting and cycling to school.

“The council is aware of the parking issues around the school and civil enforcement officers regularly patrol those routes.

“In addition to the highway improvements, the council received a contribution from the developer towards increased parking enforcement and therefore additional parking enforcement will also be carried out in the coming years.”