West Walton school backs parking solution trial
A potential solution to parking problems outside a secondary school could be given a trial within weeks.
Some 40 people attended a public meeting to discuss the issues around the Marshland High School site in West Walton on Friday night.
And a further meeting is likely to take place next month after school leaders and parish councillors indicated they were prepared to look at an alternative.
Many staff park on School Road throughout the day, as there is insufficient parking on the school site.
Headteacher Elizabeth Dormor said this was because the school now caters for about twice the number of students envisaged when it was first opened in the 1920s.
She said: “We have got a huge problem with too many cars and not enough parking space. We use every bit of parking space we can on school premises.”
Although there is vacant, overgrown parking space at the back of the school, it is not owned by the school and is currently unused.
The meeting also heard a previous proposal for teachers to use it on a trial basis was scuppered over staff concerns on lighting and security.
But West Norfolk Council deputy leader Brian Long suggested a new, three-month trial of the land should begin in March, when there would still be daylight at the end of the school day.
Mr Long, who was attending in his capacity as chairman of the area’s Safer Neighbourhood Action Panel (SNAP), said: “I can’t see that there’s anything to lose.”
It was also suggested that a webcam could be set up.
Parish council chairman David Cummings said there had been previously been a concern about whether the area would be used.
But MP Elizabeth Truss, who chaired the meeting, said: “If that is successful, there are pots of government money which can be bid for.”
She suggested that a further meeting should take place in a month’s time.
Other concerns, such as parents’ parking and vehicle engines left running for lengthy periods, were also raised. But Ms Truss said the staff parking problem had to be resolved first.
She said: “While we still have the teachers parking on the road, it’s difficult to deal with the other problems.”