Residents blast ‘lazy’ parents who run a school who park in disabled bays and sit on their phones for up to 40 minutes
RESIDENTS lambasted ‘lazy parents’ for parking in disabled bays during the school run – some said they sat on their phones for up to 40 minutes.
A ‘large number’ of mums and dads would have stopped by without blue badges at Ponteland Leisure Center in Ponteland, Northum, during pick up and return to school hours.
The leisure center is less than a mile from Ponteland Primary School and Ponteland Secondary School, and on the same council-owned site on Callerton Lane, Chronicle Live reports.
And according to a mother, the remoteness of the sites has transformed the leisure center into a “makeshift school parking lot”.
Kate Fletcher Günüşen, from Ponteland, said her mother Pamela Fletcher had been unable to park in the disabled bays “several times” due to “inconsiderate” parents.
She said her mother had spinal scoliosis and problems with her legs, which made it extremely difficult for her to walk.
But his weekly date with Kate’s three-year-old at the leisure center clashes with time at home for schools.
Kate, 43, said: “There were times when she had to navigate the car park’s one-way system for over twenty minutes while waiting for a disabled bay to become free.
“It’s incredibly frustrating and really disrespectful. I wouldn’t dream of parking in a disabled bay even for five minutes, but they stay there for up to 40 minutes, usually just sitting shamelessly in the car on their phone.
“The center is being used as extra parking for school, and it shouldn’t be. I think it’s just laziness on the parents’ part if I’m being honest.”
Kate said on a visit to the leisure center she had only counted six cars out of “about 20” parked in a disabled bay had a blue badge in the window.
She added that drivers would “avert her gaze and clearly feel uncomfortable”, but still refused to move their illegally parked cars.
She also said she had complained directly to Ponteland Leisure Centre, who acknowledged the problem but said that as it was a council-owned car park it was not their responsibility.
Ponteland Primary School declined to comment.
But its parking policy on its website tells parents to “encourage children to walk, jog or cycle to school whenever possible.”
Northumberland County Council said a parking order must be applied for at the leisure center car park, which will see penalty notices for vehicles parked in disabled bays without displaying blue badges.
A spokesperson for the council told Chronicle Live: “We are aware of the continuing issues with parking at this site, particularly users parking in bays accessible without a blue badge.
“Building users are regularly informed of the need to keep these bays vacant for those who specifically need them.