THE council has blamed parents on the school run for the parking problems near a prep school, after they held a protest against the road markings which they say are putting their children in danger.

Iain Duncan Smith MP joined parents and staff outside Woodford Green Prep School in Glengall Road on Friday (May 28) to urge the council to make the zigzag road markings near the school gates mandatory.

Speaking to the Guardian last week, headteacher Tony Blackhurst said this would prevent people parking there throughout the day while using the Tube to commute to London, which creates a hazard for children crossing the road.

However, the council has rejected these claims and said that it is actually mums and dads on the school run who are responsible for parking near the school, not commuters.

A Redbridge Council spokesperson said: “Initial plans for the 'safe routes to school' scheme for this school didn’t include mandatory zigzags, the school actually requested these. However, residents objected and the scheme was implemented with advisory zigzags.

“The problems here are compounded by the school opening a previously restricted access (deliveries only) for parents to use which makes parking in Glengall Road more attractive.

“The parking problems at the school are caused by drivers dropping off children. Our experience at schools across the borough suggests that parking by drivers on the school run is increasingly obstructive and potentially dangerous, regardless of the status of the local restrictions.

“This is something where schools have a major role to play in terms of educating parents and pupils and our Road Safety Officers will continue to work with schools to encourage less car journeys.”