Following traffic issues, a school in Stoke-On-Trent is set to become the first in the country to charge parents for a parking permit. The Staffordshire academy school is due to charge parents £2 per week for parking in a new car park, in an attempt to address heavy traffic around the school that is putting children at risk.
Primary school St Gregory’s Catholic Academy is planning to create a 50-space car park to cater for parents and help alleviate the issue of inconsiderate parking on the roads before and after school, with parents expected to pay £2 for a week’s parking or around £15 for a whole term.
Defending its decision to charge parents to use this new car park, the school has cited the expense of employing a warden to monitor the car park, along with the cost of fitting a new gate and signs.
St Gregory’s head teacher, Margaret Yates, told The Telegraph: “As the head, and also a parent, I fully understand the difficulty in parking around the school, but the safety of the children has to be put first, above everything else.
We have a budget for the education of our children and of course safeguarding comes into that. But we can not spend that money on a car park, which is why we must look elsewhere to cover the costs.
"We have a budget for the education of our children and of course safeguarding comes into that. But we can not spend that money on a car park, which is why we must look elsewhere to cover the costs."
Parents are divided over whether charging parents for parking is a positive step. Tracy Gregory, who has two children at the school, said: “There are times when you can't get down the road.
“People park dangerously or park on double yellow lines and that shouldn't happen. As parents we want what is best for our kids and we don't mind paying a little extra. I'm very happy with what the school is doing."
However, Michael Underwood, father of two at the school, said: "The traffic is a concern but I've never heard of anybody being charged money to just to drop children at the school gates – it's like a parent tax."
Picture: Andres Rodriguez