Parents to be named and shamed if they park outside Alban City School

Alban City School

Alban City School - Credit: Archant

A head teacher has threatened to “name and shame” parents who flout the rules of the road.

Janet Goddard, head of Alban City School in Hatfield Road, issued the warning to those who briefly park their cars outside.

The school has no parking except for staff and busy parents are forced to walk or pay in car parks that are a 10-minute walk away. Those who work, or have appointments to go to, after collecting or dropping off their youngsters, say they have no choice but to park on the yellow lines outside.

Alban City was designed as a “walk to school” facility when it was first announced back in 2011, with nobody allowed onto site to drop off children, and parents were warned they should look at alternative options if they were unhappy with these restrictions.

But this week Ms Goddard revealed: “There are a number of parents who continue to park opposite the school on the yellow lines before and after school and then proceed to run across the road with their children, dodging the oncoming cars.

“This is so dangerous and irresponsible. Not only does it undo all the road safety teaching that we put in place with the children but it annoys local businesses and St Albans residents who have to swerve around parked cars.

“I am considering naming and shaming parents who do this in my newsletters so you have been warned.

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A handful of parents who parked in the surrounding residential area - next to the Blacksmiths Arms pub - were already told off in previous newsletters, where their cars were described and registration numbers published.

One parent, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “The school is a great new school and gaining a lot of momentum locally. The only problem is that as part of it being given the go-ahead, a condition was imposed that there would be no parking. This was to allay some oppositional views about a negative impact on the already congested streets of central St Albans at rush hour.

“Whilst it’s healthier to walk, if we have to get to school on time and in all weathers, there are occasions when parking outside and running in for a minute or two is necessary.

“If you have to get to work or go to an important meeting or hospital appointment, you don’t always have time to walk. The district council hiked up the fees for the nearest car park a year or so ago. This seemed like a deliberate act to deter Alban City parents from using it frequently for very short periods.

“In a wealthy area in 2015, people want to feel they have options. Parents are often given a school that was not their first choice and is not close to their homes.

“To be told they can’t drive there feels too rigid and inconvenient. Some mothers may have all the time in the world but those who must rush off to work don’t.

“I think threatening to publicly shame us for being busy is an inappropriate way to deal with this. Although I admit she has sent more polite requests, which were largely ignored.”

The school has a limited amount of parking permits for those meeting certain health and social criteria, which parents can apply for.

It was given an Ofsted rating as ‘good with outstanding features’ and encourages an active healthy lifestyle.

This includes scooter safety training, fruit and vegetable snacks, encouraging pupils to drink water throughout the day and a hopping event to try to beat a world record, which took place recently.