Gridlock at Pontprennau Primary School pickup

Parents on school run prevent disabled patient from getting to medical centre

Pontprennau Primary School caretaker receives threats from driver trying to use car park for teachers

SCHOOL rush hour parking is causing a safety nightmare for children, parents, and patients of a nearby health centre.

And feelings are running so high that threats were made to a school staff member.

Pontprennau Primary School, on Heol Pontprennau, has no car park for drop-off and pick-up times so parents park in the surrounding area.

The school sits on a roundabout that has exits to Pontprennau Medical Centre and Pontprennau Community Church Centre. Both have private car parks that are not monitored. The medical centre used to have a barrier to control entry, but it is out of use.

Pontprennau Primary School and Pontprennau Medical Centre are separated by a roundabout. Photo: Sam Feierabend

The car park for the medical centre holds up to 20 cars but is regularly filled by parents crossing the road to the school.

One patient, who wishes to be referred to as Libby, said: “Cars are blocking the medical centre car park, double parked, parked in blue badge spaces with no blue badge to collect school children.

“It has been going on a long time. The council have put up cameras which is making it worse as parents are now using the medical centre car park rather than loitering on the road.”

Cars blocking the pavement and spilling out of the Pontprennau Medical Centre car park. Photo: Sam Feierabend

Pontprennau Medical Centre declined to comment.

Double yellow lines on the adjacent street are monitored by Cardiff council via a newly installed traffic camera.

“Cameras have been installed outside Pontprennau Primary School to stop parents from parking illegally on the zebra crossing and zig-zag lines. Parking illegally around a school is dangerous for other road users and is not allowed,” said a council spokesperson.

The Cardiffian attended a pick-up at the school from 2.30pm until 3.30pm and witnessed several instances of illegal parking.

We saw a parent making verbal threats to the school caretaker who had opened the gate to let a teacher out of the staff car park and wouldn’t let the parent in.

The Community Church Centre, Pontprennau, where cars park illegally. Photo: Sam Feierabend

The car park for the Community Church Centre, which was shut at the time, filled up first. Cars quickly spilled out onto the path, into disabled spaces outside the school and across the roundabout to the medical centre side.

Those parked in disabled spaces without a blue badge prevented a parent whose child uses an electric wheelchair from collecting her child.

Some cars parked over the pavement, blocking access for anyone with a pushchair or who uses a wheelchair and forcing them into the road.

“It is bonkers and a nightmare for children. It is getting dangerous now,” said Ms Lewis, mother of a three-year-old at the school’s nursery.

Ms Lewis and another parent suggested that a disused field behind the school could be turned into a car park.

One day, a parent reversed into the gates of the school during a pick-up while children were leaving the school, claims Ms Lewis.

“These parents have no accountability and don’t mind running people over,” said parent Ms Isaacs, who claims to have been clipped by the car of a parent dropping their children off. The incident has been reported to the school.

By 3.30pm, the Medical Centre car park was emptied, and people could access it again.

The empty Pontprennau Medical Centre car park after the school run rush. Photo: Sam Feierabend

More than 400 pupils attend Pontprennau Primary School, which serves a catchment area up to three miles north of the school and the estate south of the school as far as the Spire Cardiff Hospital.

For those living on the edge of the catchment area, a round trip of six miles on foot is not a viable option.

A council spokesperson said: “The council offers support to all primary schools in Cardiff to encourage children to walk, wheel, scoot, or cycle to school.

“Our message to parents that have to drive their children to school is please park legally further away from the school and then walk or scoot the remaining distance if you are able to do so.”

The Cardiffian is awaiting response from Pontprennau Primary School.