An open evening staged by Clitheroe Royal Grammar School has been described as a “shambles” after a large number of parents parked their cars outside the secondary school causing the road to be gridlocked.
The event, which was held at the Chatburn Road school yesterday evening, caused traffic chaos with cars double parked outside the school causing traffic jams to develop when large vehicles such as buses and wagons didn’t have the space to pass.
One eye witness said: “I was stuck there for about 15 minutes, but my friend was stuck there for about 45 minutes after a stand off between a bus and cars that couldn’t fit through the space available and were refusing to reverse. The police had to be called in the end to sort things out!”
Staff at the school have received a deluge of complaints from local residents who were unable to get to or from their own homes because of the chaos.
The housing estate opposite the school was particularly badly affected and scores of comments have been left on social media.
Linda Menzies said: “As a resident of Colthirst Drive for nine years I was outraged having to sit in total gridlock traffic for half an hour on Chatburn Road trying to get into Colthirst Drive but not being allowed because of all the cars parked on both sides of the road blocking all traffic both ways.
“This is not acceptable and as a tax payer I was fuming when the police had to be called to sort the problem out!”
Janine Roberts said: “I wonder what would have happened if an emergency vehicle had to get through it all! This is awful. Shame on CRGS – more organisation next time would sort this out once and for all. Have it in a different day or Thursday or Tuesday and use the auction mart car park or use Shackletons and do park and ride.”
Michelle Chadwick said: “It was absolutely dreadful! I sat there for 20 minutes and still ended up turning round to get home to Chatburn.”
Diane Haslewood Wilson-Mayor said: “33 years I lived up there and it’s always been like this! Someone even parked on my drive way one year.”
Local resident Ceri Jones, who lives on Cringle Way, has been collating people’s complaints about the incident. The 29-year-old, who was trapped on the housing estate where her home is for 20 minutes because of the traffic jam, slammed the atrocious parking and said the open evening had been badly organised.
She added: “It’s only a matter of time before there is an accident or a someone’s child is run over!”
The grammar school’s headteacher Mrs Judith Child, who has extended her apologies to all those local residents and drivers who were caught up in the chaos, has promised to review arrangements for next year’s open evenings.
“Our open evening for admission to Year Seven in 2018 was held last night. It was a tremendous success and very busy indeed, even more so than usual.
“We would like to apologise to local residents and to road users who were inconvenienced by the number of vehicles on Chatburn Road.
“In recent years the police have been unable to help supervise the event. However, we have followed their advice by putting out traffic cones in an effort to ensure that traffic can flow smoothly and that our visitors park with consideration. In addition, we open our sixth form car park on York Street and encourage visitors to park at that site.
“In light of the difficulties caused by both the volume of traffic and by irresponsible parking, we will review the arrangements for next year. We have contacted the police to discuss the matter and will be in touch with Highways England for their advice.
“Once again, we apologise sincerely for the disruption caused.”