Sturminster Newton residents call for parking restrictions on “blind bend”
PARKED cars are endangering pedestrians and road users on a stretch of road close to a school in Sturminster Newton, according to local residents.
Around 250 people have signed a petition calling for restrictions to stop parked cars creating a “blind bend” near Yewstock special school on Honeymead Lane.
David Cownley presented the petition to members of Sturminster Newton Town Council’s amenities committee at a meeting last week.
“People are creating a blind corner for anyone negotiating the bend. You literally can’t see what is ahead,” he said.
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“There have already been several narrow escapes – cars have had wing mirrors smashed. Drivers whiz up and down there and the feeling is that something should be done before there is a serious accident.”
Mr Cownley believes a significant number of the parked cars belong to staff at Yewstock School. He said residents were frustrated because arrangements had been made for them to park at Sturminster Newton Leisure Centre.
Sean Kretz, headteacher at Yewstock School, said he was not aware of the petition. He explained that, although school workers do sometimes park on the roadside, he believed that speeding cars posed the greatest danger on Honeymead Lane.
“People drive quite fast down the lane, which is a problem when we are crossing with pupils,” he said.
“We have a large staff at the school and our car park is not always big enough for them all. There are no parking restrictions on the road and we don’t dictate where people park off-site.
“We have not been approached by the town council or the residents behind the petition. It is a shame it has bypassed us but we would be happy to work with them.”
Sturminster Newton Town council amenities committee chairman Neil Watson said on-street parking has caused problems on Honeymead Lane for several years. He explained that, although the Highway Code stipulates that cars should not be parked close to junctions, the absence of double yellow lines makes enforcement difficult.
Measures including residents’ parking permits and a 20mph speed limit were discussed at last week’s meeting.
“Yellow lines seem the most obvious option. We are investigating designating parts of the bend but it is not within our gift,” Mr Watson said.
“The council will be writing to County Highways, the police and the education authority.”
Andrew Brown, County Highways traffic engineering team manager, said: “We have received a communication from Sturminster Newton town council regarding the issue of parking on Honeymead Lane. We will be talking with the Town council and Yewstock School to see if a local solution can be found before traffic regulations are considered.”