‘Common sense’ plea to solve parking chaos in Spalding street

TRAFFIC PROBLEMS: The South Holland Post 16 Centre car park in Matmore Gate, Spalding.  Photo supplied.
TRAFFIC PROBLEMS: The South Holland Post 16 Centre car park in Matmore Gate, Spalding. Photo supplied.
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Senior staff at two Spalding schools have been told to use “common sense” to ease traffic “chaos” in a town street.

People living in Matmore Gate have complained to Spalding High School about students parking on the road because of insufficient room outside the school in nearby Stonegate.

Not all of those parking in the area or causing the inconvenience have been students or parents of the High School but, where they have been our students, we have addressed the matter

Michele Anderson, Headmistress of Spalding High School

One parent, who asked not to be named, urged staff at the school to reach a deal with Spalding Academy for students who drive to and from school to use an available car park in Matmore Gate.

The parent said: “The sheer volume of traffic in Matmore Gate means there’s nowhere for bigger vehicles to pull in so that other drivers can go past them.

“When sixth form students at Spalding High School arrive and go home, it can be gridlock because they have to leave their cars on the road due to insufficient car parking at the school.

“In my mind, there is a solution as the Post 16 Centre car park is nearly always empty.

“So if the High School can work together with Spalding Academy to let students use it, it will hopefully ease some of the congestion.”

The High School wrote to students and parents earlier this month, asking them to “park with consideration and sensibility” in the area of Matmore Gate and Mulberry Way, directly opposite the Post 16 Centre.

The parent said: “There’s no need for this chaos in Matmore Gate as the Post 16 Centre car park is sitting there empty.

“I’m sure there’s a way around the problem of using it and it’s just a bit of common sense that’s needed.”

Michele Anderson, headmistress at Spalding High School, said: “In recent weeks we have been contacted by a small number of neighbours about parking on Matmore Gate and the surrounding area.

“The High School has been very proactive and supportive in working with local residents to reduce any inconvenience caused to them.

“Not all of those parking in the area or causing the inconvenience have been students or parents of the High School but, where they have been our students, we have addressed the matter.

“We have also sent several letters to parents reminding them of the procedures for drop-off and collection of pupils and worked proactively with the police.

“When surveying the area recently, we were advised that the parked cars belonging to our students were not illegally parked, despite residents’ concerns.

“One must consider that we have a primary school, secondary school and the Post 16 centre all within a short distance of Matmore Gate.

“If those wishing to park on local roads did so with consideration then the inconvenience to residents would, hopefully, be minimal.

“The High School has also discussed the use of the Post 16 centre with Spalding Academy

“However, at this stage, this is not possible.”

Meanwhile, a spokesman for South Lincolnshire Academies Trust which runs Spalding Academy, said: “It is not within our power to grant permission as the site is owned by the Department for Education and is currently covenanted for the provision of on-site 16 to 19 vocational education.

“We are therefore unable to allow members of the general public to use the site as our insurance and liability would be compromised, as would the safety and safeguarding of staff and students currently using the site.

“In addition, it is likely that the Post 16 Centre and its car park will become busier in the future and so any change at this stage would not be sustainable.”

Andy Wharff, local highways manager for South Lincolnshire, said, “I would urge students and parents of children at schools near to Matmore Gate to park safely and responsibly a bit further from school and walk a short distance, if necessary.

“This would be better and rather than inconveniencing local residents by causing congestion and parking across driveways.

“If the schools can come together and agree on alternative parking provision that is something we would support and it would help ease the situation.“