Bid to end school traffic ‘chaos’

Traffic outside Portadown Integrated Primary School. MH
Traffic outside Portadown Integrated Primary School. MH

Residents and local politicians are making an appeal for an end to traffic “chaos” at peak times near Portadown Integrated Primary School.

They are claiming some parents are “totally irresponsible” when parking near the school.

They are hoping that a meeting between councillors - Alderman Arnold Hatch and Councillor Julie Flaherty - the PSNI and PIPS principal Feargal Magee on Monday will lead to changes in the system.

The busy Kernan Road is a main route to Craigavon Area Hospital and to Seagoe and Carn Industrial Estates.

Said Mr Hatch, “We saw at first-hand the problems experienced by the residents. Some parents actually park irresponsibly and walk across to the school with their child and return to the car some 10-15 minutes later.”

Mrs Flaherty commented, “The principal Mr Magee has gone beyond the call of duty to try and resolve the issue. He has written to parents and has asked them personally, but the problem persists.”

Gary Mcivor, who lives at Lynedale Grange opposite the school, said his van had been blocked in his driveway at times and the traffic was a real inconvenience.

He added that “irresponsible parents actually increase the traffic problems on the main Kernan Road”.

The councillors came up with several suggestions, including painting double yellow lines in key areas, the construction of lay-bys and more parking areas in front of the school’s main entrance.

Mr Magee said, “The school is only too aware of the traffic problems that can occur during the morning drop-off.

“On numerous occasions, officials from the Department of Education, Education Authority, Roads Service and PSNI have claimed that the problems experienced by us are no different from those experienced by almost all urban and suburban schools throughout the country.

“Despite a request from the school to divisional roads manager for a re-designation of the area to create a more efficient parking system, works have not been approved due to a lack of agreement between the Department of Education and Roads Service over who should pay for it.

“Three ‘walking buses’, supervised by staff and volunteer parents, operate on a daily basis collecting children from points on the Kernan Hill Road, Kernan Hill housing development and the car park area near the Spar Garage on the Lurgan Road.”