Principal calls for action amid safety fears

SCHOOL TRAFFIC CONCERNS. . . .Mr. Eamon Devlin, Principal, St. Patrick's PS, Pennyburn, pictured on Wednesday afternoon placing traffic cones around the perimeter of the school at the Carnhill entrance. DER4914MC52
SCHOOL TRAFFIC CONCERNS. . . .Mr. Eamon Devlin, Principal, St. Patrick's PS, Pennyburn, pictured on Wednesday afternoon placing traffic cones around the perimeter of the school at the Carnhill entrance. DER4914MC52
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The principal of one of the Derry’s largest schools has called for action amid fears a lack of parking could be putting children at risk.

Eamonn Devlin, principal of St Patrick’s Primary School in Pennyburn has now written to government officials and to the parents of their 856 pupils about the issue.

SDLP Councillor Ann Dobbins told Transport NI officials during a Derry City Council meeting this week that there were fears over children dicing with traffic.

Speaking to the Journal, Mr Devlin said: “I would have concerns about the traffic congestion on the roads around the school. We face onto the Racecourse Road which is very busy and our back entrance is at Carnhill. On both locations there seems to be a lack of adequate car parking spaces for the parents.

“This result is parents parking on double yellow lines, zig-zag lines, even parking up on the footpath. When cars are parked like this it can create blind spots for other drivers, and for people, even the crossing patrol lady, stepping out, it can be dangerous and my concern is a child will be injured.

“We want to ensure the safety of children coming to school and on their way home. My appeal would be to the Roads Service to come out and do a survey and report back to me as to how we can improve this situation for the safety and benefit of the children.”

Speaking at the council meeting, Transport NI Regional Manager Conor Loughrey said that they had been inundated with similar requests for assistance and said the safest solution to such issues was off-road parking provided by schools and WELB. However Mr Devlin said there was only adequate parking for staff at the school, while allowances were made for people with disablity badges.