Fines for illegal car parking outside school

Illegal parking outside St Francis’ Primary School in Lurgan could lead to fines and enforcement say local politicians.

After a meeting with the school, Sinn Fein Cllr Liam Mackle called on motorists to respect pedestrians in the vicinity.

He said: “The situation outside St Francis’ PS has been causing concern for a number of years. We have been working with the PSNI, the school and others to seek to improve the situation.

“Some drivers are parking their cars on the pavement making it impossible for children and mothers with prams and buggies to safely pass - forcing them onto the road.

“This is extremely dangerous as the traffic in Francis St heading to and from the motorway is often speeding.

“This is a multi layered problem and we will continue to seek a long term solution.”

SDLP representative Ciaran Toman on the Old Portadown Rd Lurgan

SDLP representative Ciaran Toman on the Old Portadown Rd Lurgan

Cllr Mackle said there had been enough warnings and yet car owners still continue to park inappropriately even though there is parking at St Paul’s Chapel. “Irresponsible parking will result in penalty notices,” he added.

The meeting last week included the school principal Ms O’Dowd, local priest Fr Wright, the PSNI and local political representatives.

SDLP representative Ciaran Toman said: “Following the new guidance from the Department of Education on Safeguarding and Child Protection, the school is not in a position to open the front gates to allow parents to use the playground to collect their children. The school has its hands tied in trying to alleviate this issue!

“The onus should be on those motorists who continue to park their cars on the pavement and make it impossible and unsafe for children.”

“We have seen St Ronan’s College successfully use the chapel car park where parents park and walk to the school to collect their children. I would urge parents whose children go to St Francis’ PS to do the same, to park their vehicle in the chapel and walk to the school.

“Previously PSNI officers issued warnings to those parking irresponsibly and placed pedestrians in danger, now they will issue fines to those motorists and will be carrying out random speed checks throughout the day.

“I was delighted to hear that Francis St is on the list to be resurfaced in the next financial year and the footpaths will be widening somewhat.

“The local community know too well the deteriorating surface condition of the road and will be delighted to finally see the resurfacing of Francis Street.”