School traffic prevents ambulance from reaching man who was close to death

Cars parked on the yellow lines outside Fulwell Infant School, ignoring the headteacher's plea about safety.

Cars parked on the yellow lines outside Fulwell Infant School, ignoring the headteacher's plea about safety.

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A HEADTEACHER is appealing to parents to park safely after a patient almost died when an ambulance was held up in traffic

Wendy Angus has urged mums and dads to be more considerate when dropping off and picking up children at Fulwell Infants.

The move follows two serious incidents outside the school, in Ebdon Lane, which is close to a surgery and Peter Stracey House sheltered accommodation for the elderly.

“In the first incident, a parent was parked in the middle of the doctor’s car park, then reversed out into Ebdon Lane,” said Ms Angus in a letter to parents.

“As she did so her car brushed against the leg of another parent who was walking with her child across the top of the car park.

“Thankfully, neither parent nor child were injured on this occasion.

“In the second incident, a very poorly patient, who had collapsed on the path on the way into the doctors’ surgery was delayed in receiving treatment as the ambulance was unable to get through the traffic.

“This gentleman nearly died and emergency services were extremely concerned about the situation caused by parent parking.”

Ms Angus said she hoped the letter would remind parents of the dangers that increased traffic in a “very confined area” can cause.

She said safe parking, as well as parents and children walking to school whenever possible, was important to ensure the safety of all youngsters and patients who attend the nearby surgery.

“Whilst we appreciate the need to use cars to bring children to school as working parents drop children off before setting off to work, we would respectfully ask parents to park safely and further away,” she said.

“Concerns have also been raised by the team at Peter Stracey House this term, both with regard to car parking and children running around the electricity sub station.

“The school car park is often locked at the beginning and end of the school day. Even at lunchtimes, parents are reminded that cars are not allowed into the school car park.

“Deliveries and staff vehicles are the only permitted vehicles during school hours.”

One concerned dad told the Echo that the local roads can often become congested during school runs.

“It’s a really busy area all of the time, but particularly congested before and after school,” he said. “On one side of the lane is a medical centre, which has a small car park for about eight to 10 cars. Parents often try to park in there. Further along the lane towards school is a small residential unit for disabled people.

“On the opposite side of the lane is Peter Stracey House, which also has a car park, again, which some parents try to use despite requests not to.

The dad added: “There’s a small electricity sub-station at the car park entrance and some children run into the car park, round the sub station and back onto the pavement.

“The school regularly reminds parents about safe parking, but the requests continue to be ignored by some, who insist on parking inconsiderately and ignoring yellow lines.

“Parking wardens visit the area quite regularly to try to prevent illegal and dangerous parking, but they can’t be there all the time.”

Councillor James Blackburn, Sunderland City Council, said the local authority was aware of the issues.

“We are aware of some problems with the number of vehicles in Ebdon Lane and indiscriminate parking which occurs at key times,” he said.

“We will be contacting the school, residents in the surrounding homes and Fulwell Medical Centre to explore possible solutions to the problem.

“We would like to emphasise that whatever measures can possibly be taken, parents and carers continue to have a responsibility to see that children are able to arrive at and depart from school in a safe manner.

“We appreciate the need for some parents to drive to school to pick children up, but we would urge parents and carers to avoid parking in Ebdon Lane.”

Twitter: @sunderlandecho