Council’s ‘stupid’ plan to close school roads angers parents

A sign alerting parents to the proposed road closures (Lucca De Paoli/Hackney Post)

A plan to close two streets outside of Gayhurst Community School has had a mixed response, with one parent branding the plan as “stupid”.

“If people have to go to work how are they supposed to drop off their children?” asked a mother-of-three while dropping her child off at the school.

London Fields West Side, one of two roads that the council has proposed to close (Lucca De Paoli/Hackney Post)

She continued: “There is nowhere to park around here anyway, so parents having to look around for somewhere to park is just going to increase the lateness. I think it’s stupid.”

The comments come after Hackney Council has proposed to close off London Fields West Side and part of Gayhurst Road to all cars, other than those of the street’s residents, during school at pick-up and drop-off times. A public consultation is currently taking place, which closes on October 20.

Hackney Council has proposed the scheme to reduce danger from traffic, as well as tackle inconsiderate driving. The proposals also aim to “encourage a reduction in the numbers of children driven to school by car and to an improvement in air quality”, according to the council’s website. If approved, a trial will take place before February 2018.

A lollipop lady who has worked at Gayhurst School for eight years offered a different perspective, saying something has to be done about dangerous drivers.

“Even when I am crossing the kids across the road the drivers won’t slow down. I started here in 2010 and it has definitely got worse since then. People are getting angry with road rage and it is dangerous.”

The Council is also trying to reduce pollution levels near schools, after a  report commissioned in 2013 by the Greater London Authority revealed that 27 Hackney primary schools exceeded the EU limit for nitrogen dioxide emissions, including Gayhurst.

Gayhurst School declined to comment.