Police called in as residents complain about ‘inconsiderate parking’ outside Eastbourne school

PCSOs John and Jackie who are helping with parking issues in roads around St John's School (Photo by Jon Rigby)
PCSOs John and Jackie who are helping with parking issues in roads around St John's School (Photo by Jon Rigby)

Police have been brought in after residents complained about inconsiderate parking outside an Eastbourne school – including some cars blocking people’s drives.

Parents dropping off and picking up their children at St John’s School in Meads can expect to see PCSOs accompanying wardens to help move traffic along outside the gates.

The school – which is not the first in town to have PCSOs brought in to help with parking issues – says this is due to a number of complaints from nearby residents in Rowsley Road about ‘inconsiderate parking’ by some parents.

But one parent is not impressed. Dad of three Jamie Lang said, “I think it’s a joke to be honest. There’s nowhere else to park, it’s not like there an alternative parking, it’s not like we want to be there, we have to be there.

“Everyone feels the same. The school’s been there for hundreds of years and the area’s become more built up. People choose to live there, if they want to complain – move.
“It’s 20 minutes out of their day I don’t see why they can’t just deal with it.

“They know there’s going to be a lot of cars there’s no other way – it’s a small area.”

He added, “It’s a civil matter so I don’t know why police are involved.

“Every time we pick the kids up there’s a big police van taking up the space. I thought that was a bit excessive, it’s not helping the situation.

“It’s bewildering, the only thing police can do is assist if there’s any violence. It’s a Church of England school, everyone’s quite polite.

“There’s no alternative parking, for the majority of people there’s no other way around it.

“We can’t walk, I live about 10 miles away.”

The school’s headteacher Debra Turner said in a statement to the Herald, “St John’s Meads CE primary school is a very small school situated in the heart of a residential area. We are a one form entry school with 221 children on roll.

“As a Church of England school we have many parents and carers who choose to travel to send their children to our school. We serve many small villages surrounding Eastbourne. 
“We have children from Jevington, Polegate, East Dean, Friston and Willingdon on roll as well as many children from the other side of Eastbourne. Consequently, parents and carers have no opportunity but to drive their children to school.

“The school is located in very close proximity to St Andrew’s Prep school and the University of Brighton campus. Therefore, the traffic flow during pick up and drop off to all sites is very congested. Parents and carers choose to park in Rowsley Road where the school is located because there is very limited opportunity elsewhere.

“Wellcome Crescent has parking restrictions down one side and is adjacent to all three education establishments.

“As a school we have received many complaints from the local residents about inconsiderate parking. We have put notices in our newsletters and spoken to parents and carers where we can.

“Generally, parents and carers are very considerate when parking but unfortunately during pick up some parents have occasionally parked over residents’ drives.

“The local residents have spoken to traffic management and have now notified the community police who have worked collaboratively with the traffic management to ensure this doesn’t happen.

“With regard to the Police van, I think it is unfortunate that this was the method of transport the PCSO’s used on the particular day the parent contacted you. Although the school is not responsible for the police presence many parents and carers have commented on the positive impact it has had on raising awareness.”

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