SCHOOLCHILDREN’S safety is being put at risk by irresponsible parents

Staff at a Maryport school say despite texts and pleas, parents continue to park on zig-zag or yellow lines and fear there will soon be a serious incident.

The parents from Ewanrigg School and neighbouring Our Lady & St Patrick’s are the culprits, endangering children trying to cross the road before or after school.

Ewanrigg’s solution has been to use its Mini Police force - a group of children who have signed up to the Cumbria Police initiative to work with young people.

Senior teacher and Mini Police organiser Allison Lancaster said the parking is a huge problem. “It is only going to take a child on a bike to come out of the school gate and there is going to be a serious accident,” she said.

The Mini Police are working with local PCSOs and are using colourful signs to remind drivers to park properly. However, there is only one set of these signs for the whole of Cumbria.

School administrator Julie Moir said governors were now looking at the possibility of getting signs of their own which they could possibly share with other schools.

“I have been here for 15 years now and parking has always been a problem,” she said. “We send texts and messages to parents but it never gets any better.”

Ewanrigg and Our & Lady & St Patrick’s schools share the same driveway leading onto a narrow, one-way section of Ennerdale Road.

Jacqueline Hampson, head of St Patrick’s, said she supported Ewanrigg: “We encourage children to cycle, scoot and walk to school because it promotes healthy living but then they are endangered by bad driving and parking.”

She said St Patrick’s opens and closes 15 minutes before Ewanrigg to stop too much bottle neck.

A Ewanrigg parent ,who did not want to be named, has endorsed the idea of the Mini Police helping to control parking. “You can see the embarrassed looks on drivers’ faces as they are confronted by children staring at them,” she said. “You can almost see their reaction - oops! I’d better not park there!”