Hastings school entrance closure is ‘ludicrous’, residents claim

Cllr Batsford, third from right, with concerned residents
Cllr Batsford, third from right, with concerned residents

A school’s decision to change its entrance for pupils has created major parking problems in the area, residents claim.

ARK William Parker Academy has moved its entrance to Park Avenue.

One resident, who wished not to be named, said: “It’s ludicrous. There’s now double the number of parents picking their children up from school and some children are dashing across the road without looking. It’s an accident waiting to happen.”

St Helen’s ward councillor, Andy Batsford, said: “I have met with William Parker Academy twice to voice residents’ concerns. The school has listened and offered to talk to parents, asking them to park further down the road near the shops in Alexandra Parade and for sixth-form students to park away from the narrow part of the road outside the school.

“I know the school makes hundreds of decisions a week about the welfare of the boys but this safeguarding review leading to the closure of the Parkstone Road entrance has had massive repercussions for residents who live around the school. I did express my surprise that no resident, councillor, police nor member of the highways team had been contacted while this plan was being put in place. Park Avenue is at the top, is very narrow and service vehicles need to be able to get through and elderly residents need to be able to leave their driveways.”

An ARK spokesman said: “We are always listening to our community and in fact, we arranged a meeting with Cllr Batsford recently where this issue was discussed. It is worth noting we have not moved our entrance. There have always been two entrances and since September we have asked students to use the second entrance in Park Avenue so we can keep better track of who is entering and leaving. As a school the safety of our pupils is paramount but we are actively addressing parking issues concerning residents.”