Mid & East Antrim school parking clampdown

Parents parking “dangerously” in the vicinity of Carrick’s Model Primary School could find themselves slapped with a fine at the start of term if proposed new restrictions are given the go-ahead.

The Department for Infrastructure Roads has proposed the introduction of a single yellow line waiting restriction following complaints by residents in the Maritime Drive area.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has received a letter from DfI Roads saying that it has received complaints from residents of Maritime Drive concerning cars parked “dangerously” outside their properties in the vicinity of the rear entrance to Model Primary.

As a result, DfI Roads says it is proposing to lergislate for the existing school ‘keep clear’ waiting restrictions and introduce legislation for single yellow line waiting restrictions that will be enforceable at peak school times.

This will mean no parking will be permitted between 8.30 am and 9.15 am and from 1pm until 4pm, Monday to Friday, from August 31 until June 30 inclusive.

A part-time 20 mph speed restriction was introduced at A2 Belfast Road outside Model Primary in August 2019. It applies in the morning when pupils are arriving at school and operates at two separate times during the afternoon when pupils are leaving the school.

The issue at Maritime Drive was highlighted to the Department by Carrickfergus DUP Councillor John McDermott and East Antrim Ulster Unionist MLA Roy Beggs.

Cllr McDermott said: “I would ask parents to park at the free council carpark at The Windrose. It is that simple.

“The major fear is for the emergency services that they can’t get down the road.

“Anybody who lives at the Maritime Drive complex can’t get in or out at certain times of the day. They are trapped.”

Mr Beggs added: “Several residents contacted me highlighting the traffic congestion and the associated road safety dangers to children at school time on Maritime Drive.

“With cars parking on both sides of the road, traffic would often be impeded and there were risks to schoolchildren who were emerging between parked cars to cross the road. I arranged for the Department for Infrastructure’s Roads engineer to view the congestion and he developed the proposal to improve road safety and traffic flow.

“I would hope that by extending the parking restrictions during busy school periods that more parents will use the adjacent car parks and safely walk their children to and from the school gate.

“This should increase road safety and improve the traffic flow on Maritime Drive for local residents and parents/guardians associated with the primary school.”

Mid and East Antrim councillors have been asked for their comments ahead of drafting of appropriate legislation.

Waiting restrictions are also proposed at nearby Rhanbuoy Close by DfI Roads following complaints from residents over parking at the exit lane onto Belfast Road “causing cars to meet head-on with those entering Rhanbuoy Close”.

As a result, DfI is proposing ‘No waiting at any time’ restrictions on both sides of the street.

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