Fears that Kelso High drop-off ban may make traffic issue worse

Kelso High School
Kelso High School

EFFORTS to improve road safety outside Kelso High School by banning parents from driving their cars into school grounds to drop their children off may only make local traffic problems worse, it was claimed this week, writes Mark Entwistle.

The long-running issue of parents’ cars either driving into the school grounds –raising fears of a pupil being knocked down – or clogging the entrance to the school was recently raised by local community councillors.

This week, traffic wardens were on hand to halt parents’ cars from entering the school gates. But local Scottish Borders councillor Tom Weatherston says it is not as simple as just banning parents’ cars from the school.

“The Scottish Government has put pressure on the council (SBC) to remove all parents’ vehicles from school grounds, and this makes the situation in Kelso very difficult as there are no suitable places to drop off,” Councillor Weatherston told TheSouthern this week.

“I am concerned Orchard Park becomes the new drop off point, and this has been raised with me by several people who live there – they have enough problems with traffic already without this.

“I would urge parents who drop off high school pupils to try and avoid stopping at the school gates, as this makes a bad situation even worse.

“High school pupils walk up and down the street at lunchtimes, so I have no doubt they would not mind walking a short distance in the mornings – getting dropped off somewhere where the road is wider makes things safer for everyone.”

A spokesman for SBC spokesperson confirmed the new arrangements to TheSouthern this week: “At Kelso High School parents are no longer permitted to drop off or collect their pupils from within the school grounds due to health and safety reasons.

“The traffic wardens are offering a supportive role to SBC, which we greatly appreciate, and they will be on site for a couple of days.

“This is just to remind parents that stopping on the yellow zig zags is not a safe drop-off/collection point. All parents were notified by letter of this new arrangement.”

And Kelso High School rector, Ruth McKay, added: “I would add that the new arrangements seem to have gone very smoothly so far.”