Calls for council to take action after schoolboy was almost hit by car near Luton school

A concerned parent from Luton is calling for the council to take action to prevent people from mounting the kerb outside a primary school.

Thursday, 6th February 2020, 6:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th February 2020, 6:46 pm

The man, who does not wish to be named, claims he was taking his five-year-old son to Bushmead Primary School on Tuesday morning, when a car mounted the kerb and drove towards them and nearly hit his son, who was picking up his gloves from the floor.

He reported the incident to the police and is appealing for the council to do more to stop vehicles mounting the pavements to park near the school.

He said: "I was dropping my son to school when a car mounted the pavement and was coming towards me.

Parking near Bushmead Primary School

"It is quite common for people to park on the pavement there and drop their kids off and then drive off, there is no consideration for people who are walking.

"At the same time that the car was coming towards us, my son was picking up his glove from the floor, and I don't think the driver could see him, I grabbed him and he was inches away from being hit.

"The driver got out of the car and questioned what was wrong, he was not apologetic at all.

"I took my son into the school and told them what had happened and they said it happens a lot outside the school.

"Luckily my son was physically okay but it did really scare him, he didn't sleep much that night and when walking to school the next day he kept looking back at the cars, you could see the relief when he got into the school.

"I want to raise awareness of what happened and encourage parents to not park/drive on the footpaths, especially near the school.

"This time it was a near miss, but it could have been a lot worse.

"I want the council to put boulders outside the school to stop people from mounting the curb and driving and parking on the paths.

"Paths are for people to walk on, not cars to drive on and something needs to be done.

"I also think the whole road should have a lower speed limit, they need bigger speed humps, the small ones are not stopping people from speeding."

Luton Council will work with Bushmead Primary School to see if there is any action that can be done to encourage parents to park away from the school and not on the paths or zig-zag marking lines.

A spokesperson for Luton Council said: "The council takes parents’ concerns over road safety extremely seriously. Inconsiderate and illegal parking around schools is not only dangerous, but distressing for children and parents alike.

"Our enforcement officers carry out daily visits to schools across the borough to encourage responsible road use and to ensure compliance with parking restrictions.

"Zig zag marking lines are placed around schools for the safety of children and in order to prevent inconsiderate and dangerous parking. We expect all private and commercial drivers to be aware of the law concerning them.

"With regard to Bushmead Primary School there is a prohibition of parking on the footway between Old Bedford Road and Fairford Avenue.

"Civil Enforcement officers will increase the enforcement in the area to enforce this and the other waiting restrictions in the area.

"Our Road Safety team also works with the school to promote sustainable travel and encourage parent to park away from the school.

"The school has recently started deploying moveable no parking bollards which they place on the footway outside the school each morning and evening to try to encourage parents to park safely and especially not on the school keep clear markings (zig zags lines).

"Our Road Safety team will contact the school to see if anything further can be done and to get them to remind parents that they must not drive/park on the footway."

The incident was reported to Bedfordshire Police.

A spokesperson for the force said: "At around 9am on Tuesday (4 February) we received a report of a vehicle being driven on the pavement in Bushmead Road, Luton.

"No one was injured and anyone with any further information is asked to contact us on 101, quoting reference 104 of Tuesday."