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Tensions flare on school run

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By Rod Edgar
Annan and Eskdale
Tensions flare on school run

A CALL is being issued to solve traffic woes around a primary school in Annan - as tensions rise and gridlock threatens.

Tempers flared last Friday when a bus and car became stuck at an impasse on busy Springbells Road, with the motorist subjecting the bus driver to a volley of abuse.
Pointing to issues with parents parking near Newington Primary, concerned grandparent Marion Stewart said: “I had an incident last week.”
She added: “There were cars parked on both sides of the road, and the bus comes down. It was deadlock – you couldn’t move.
“This man got out of his car, and the abuse he gave the bus driver was unbelievable.”
Problems have prompted claims the bus now takes a different route during the prime 3 pm period, along Caledonian Crescent.
And Mrs Stewart argues ongoing safety concerns, with her grandson nearly hit by a car speeding through a zebra crossing at the end of last year.
While police are proposing to extend parking restrictions, Mrs Stewart suggests making better use of the large field used by Newington on sports days.
She said: “If they cut a bit of that off and made it a car park, exactly like John Bell’s field, that would reduce the congestion.”
Sgt Steven Wilson of Annan Police Station says fixed penalty tickets have been issued to drivers, monitoring continues, and plans are being developed to repaint and possibly extend lines on the road.
But he said: “If there’s scope and capacity to develop a drop-off area off the main road, then that has to potentially be a road safety improvement, although in the current climate the cost of it might be prohibitive.”
Instead of creating a parking square, Sgt Wilson says he can envisage creating a one-way half-circle cut into the field off Springbells Road.
Dumfries and Galloway Council say its has an ongoing programme of investment in its school estate, but a spokesman said: “External issues, such as parking or playgrounds, are secondary to this.
“However, if it was demonstrated that there was a significant health and safety risk, the matter would be investigated under the Smarter Routes to School initiative.
“We haven’t been informed of any significant health and safety risk relating to traffic movements around Newington Primary School.”

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