Chingford headteacher accuses council in campaign to stop parents driving to school gates

The headteacher of a Chingford school desperate to stop parents driving to its gates says the council is being “a little bit stubborn” over calls for traffic restrictions.

Waltham Forest Council has so far introduced 18 “School Streets” around other schools in the borough, which prevent traffic from entering the roads around each school for 45 minutes at drop-off and pick-up times.

Chingford Church Of England Primary School, situated on a cul-de-sac linked to Station Road, is keen to join this group due to fears about road safety and pollution.

However, the council insists a scheme could only be created around the school if surrounding roads agree to a Controlled Parking Zone, which would require residents to buy parking permits.

Lindsey Lampard

Headteacher Lindsey Lampard said: “I do think the council is being a little bit stubborn, I just wonder why it has to be a CPZ to have a wider School Streets scheme.

“It would be worth the council surveying local residents about the CPZ, I suspect a lot would be in favour if it was tied to School Streets.”

Commenting on the need for restrictions, she said she “constantly” asks parents not to drive to school for safety and pollution reasons.

She added: “I have got a hardcore of parents who do this, then an active group of parents who are very supportive about School Streets.

“I think they all just want to get on to work quickly, the weird thing is when I’m on gate duty they just drive around and don’t stop.”

A CPZ would require residents living near the school to buy parking permits, costing between £40 to £500 depending on the number of vehicles per household and their emissions rating.

Council officers have told the school the restrictions would be “difficult to administer” without a CPZ.

Deputy leader Clyde Loakes said this is to avoid traffic simply being displaced to surrounding roads and help realise the scheme’s “full impact and potential”.

He said: “All of Waltham Forest Council’s current School Streets schemes are in busier locations with Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs).

“We acknowledge that schools in the north of the borough have road safety, congestion and parking concerns and welcome them coming forward to work on resolving these challenges, as we have done in the past, including helping them establish CPZ’s around their schools to help unlock further School Street opportunities.”

According to Waltham Forest’s website, School Street schemes are enforced using traffic cameras that fine vehicles which enter the designated zone during school drop-off and pick-up hours.

The website also states that residents and businesses living in or using the School Streets zone can apply for an exemption if they don’t have a parking permit.


Josh Mellor

Local Democracy Reporter