ANGER is building on a residential street in Padgate after a school’s decision to open a new exit for students to leave has left parking ‘chaos’ for homeowners.

Padgate Academy made the recent decision to open a side gate on their grounds that leads onto Station Road North due to the ‘rapid increase in student numbers’, allowing pupils to then filter out of two exits instead of one.

But when 3pm rears its head, parking mayhem now descends on the street as parents pile in to collect their children, blocking drives and filling the kerbs, with some residents having to wait for the chaotic hour to be up before they can leave their homes.

Resident on the street of more than 40 years, Anthony Laff explained the collective feeling of anger from the street towards the sudden change.

He said: “It is chaos. There are bikes everywhere. They are parked across drives, double parked all down both sides of the road. Parents are coming early to get a space on the road.

“My next-door neighbour is fed up of going out.”Warrington Guardian: Peter Broadbent, a resident on the road for more than 70 yrs has caught footage on his CCTV of the parking nightmare that occurs everyday at 3:00pmPeter Broadbent, a resident on the road for more than 70 yrs has caught footage on his CCTV of the parking nightmare that occurs everyday at 3:00pm (Image: Peter Broadbent)

Anthony explained how the residents were each sent a letter by the school warning them of the changes prior to the gate being opened.

Since the disruption began one neighbour wrote a letter in return about the disturbance the pickup time was causing, and the threat to safety of the children it seemed to be posing.

The school responded to the claims, explaining how the new exit was opened for the sole purpose of increasing the safety of the students due to ‘rising numbers’ of pupils attending and the volume of congestion that was building on Insall Road (the main exit).

Neighbour, John Hale echoed Anthony’s frustration towards the parking issues describing it as ‘a mess’.

“Someone is going to end up getting hurt,” John said. “Everyone on the street is sick of it. It was bad before but now this has happened with the gates it’s even worse.”

John said of how in one previous incident, he was leaving the house to go to an ex-colleague’s funeral but left to find a parent had blocked his drive with their car. When he asked politely for them to move the car he was ‘hurled abuse at’ and ended up being late for the funeral.

“There is no respect for people’s access points. Something needs to be done,” He said.

The retired builders’ concerns extend further than a blocked driveway as he also explained his worry for his son who is partially sighted and has a guide dog and regularly crosses the road where the daily chaos occurs.

Further down the street, neighbour Peter Broadbent who has lived on Station Road for more than 70 years vented his anger towards the situation and in particular the response from the school to the resident’s letter raising concerns.

“It is nose to tail traffic all the way down the road. The school will not do anything.”

A spokesperson from Padgate Academy responded to the claims saying: “The decision to open the side gate onto Station Road was taken due to the rapid increase in student numbers at the school over the last year, and in the confidence that this rise in numbers will continue going forward.

“With rising numbers, we had become increasingly aware of the fact that the student departure at the end of the day onto Insall Road had become increasingly busy, with roads and parking areas congested, and increased numbers of students attempting to cross a busy road during this time.

“As a school, we feel we have a duty of care to ensure that students can leave in a safe, calm, and ordered manner from school. Ultimately, the opening of the extra exit ensures that students are now more able to do so.

“The change has seen a much safer and calmer exit from school for all our students. Indeed, the local PCSO has been in the school to relay his belief about how positive that change has been.

“In terms of trying to support residents of Station Road, I have tried to factor in the issue of increased parking and footfall for the period immediately before and after 3.05.

“This was why the decision was made to regulate the students leaving via this exit to just two-year groups. 

“The two-year groups selected were our two youngest year groups, who we felt would most benefit from exiting school onto a quieter residential street, as opposed to a busy road.

“I have written to parents and carers politely requesting them to be considerate of homes and businesses on Station Road during pick up time, as well as politely suggesting that they take advantage of local car parks. 

“Further to this we have been in contact with Warrington Local Highways authority to ask them if they can provide us with any additional support in terms of road markings, signage etc.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and are happy to engage with residents of Station Road around any specific concerns.”