INCONSIDERATE parking by parents at one of Ross-shire’s biggest primaries is blocking local residents from their homes and making their street a “no-go area” during school pick-up time.
The residents who live in the eight-unit Cairn Housing development on Ross Place close to Dingwall Primary School claim the double parking by parents and their ignorance of the Highway Code causes a daily gridlock which means emergency service vehicles cannot get to their houses.
The exasperated neighbours who don’t even attempt to drive home between 2.30pm and 3.30pm on weekdays to avoid the obstruction and confrontations with parents, have now spoken out to call for action again, a year after the Ross-shire Journal printed a front page story about the situation.
They claim traffic cones were put down on Ross Avenue outside the school for two weeks after the article, which resolved the issue, but as soon as they were removed the parents went back to their old parking habits.
One resident, Thomas Buick, contacted the Ross-shire Journal this week to say that a year on the chronic situation is as bad as ever.
Mr Buick said the parents seemed completely ignorant of the Highway Code as they drove nose-to-tail up Ross Avenue out of the school without stopping to give way, which meant he has had to wait for about 20 minutes at the top of the road to get past.
He said the problem was exacerbated by the fact that the parents arrive very early, long before the school finishes, and have turned it into a social occasion.
“They block one side of the road with the cars and use the remaining lane to suit themselves on the way in and use it again to suit themselves on the way out,” he said.
Ian Hamilton, a retired police officer who also lives in Ross Place, said: “The access to my house in the morning and from about 2.30pm to 3.25pm is non-existent.
“There was a blue light situation when my neighbour had to be taken to hospital and if that had happened during school pick-up time the ambulance would not have got to her.
“A year ago they put no parking cones out for two weeks, that made a big, big difference and Councillor MacKenzie has tried his best, but the police don’t seem to be interested, and it is a councilpolice problem.
“It has been said, not by me, that the situation will never be resolved until a child gets knocked down.”
He said that any time he has “forced the issue” and tried to drive to his house during pick-up time he has had abuse.
“They park on both sides of the road, they park on grass verges and they have created a one-way system where they drive in the first gate, through the school car park out through the bottom gate and along the road, without giving way.
“If I want to go home, I have to check my watch first, because I have no chance after 2.25pm.
“I’m thinking about asking for a reduction on the council tax because I can’t get access to my house on a public road,” he said.
Another resident, Jean Prior said she had to call out an ambulance when she had pneumonia and if that had happened during school time she would have had “no chance” as it wouldn’t have been able to get to her.
“It is causing an obstruction, which has a safety aspect – you expect to get from your house at any time without restrictions,” she said.
“They are very inconsiderate, especially now that it’s got to the point that emergency services can’t get through, and you get verbal abuse.
“It is a no-go area, we are blocked from going in and out of our houses.”
Dingwall and Seaforth councillor Graham MacKenzie, the former rector at nearby Dingwall Academy, believes an area near the school has to be found to be developed as a drop-off zone for the children.
He said: “I understand completely the frustration of the residents and I support them in their attempts to resolve this issue.
“I believe it could be resolved