THE HEADTEACHER of a school at the centre of a row over children's safety has hit back at the council's suggestion that parents are to blame, after staging a protest to have parking restrictions made mandatory.

Staff and parents joined Woodford Green MP Iain Duncan Smith outside Woodford Green Prep School in Glengall Road last week for the demonstration about the 'zigzag' road markings at the school's entrance, which are not mandatory and mean people are free to park there throughout the day.

Headteacher Tony Blackhurst also criticised the council's suggestion that parents are to blame for parking their cars outside the school, and reiterated his belief that it was local residents and commuters who parked there.

He said: “The council said that we opened a second entrance to the school. That's not true, the only vehicular access we have to the school is in Glengall Road.

“It's true that some of our parents aren't that well behaved when it comes to parking and they do park their cars outside, but because the restrictions are not mandatory they can park where they like.

“It would be nice to have the council just respond to the 70-odd letters that were sent to them.

“We're waiting to see what Iain Duncan Smith can do about it because he was very keen to get involved.

“When he was down here last week there were four cars parked their all day and they obviously weren't parents' cars because it was the middle of the day.

“In fact he almost got run over as he stepped out because someone was driving down the road too fast, way above the speed limit.

“The local residents have obviously lobbied the council, because they don't want to have the restrictions made mandatory.

“Why can't the council just make it residents only parking and give everyone a free residents permit? That would suit us.

“If they think we're going to go away, we're not.”

Mr Duncan Smith said: “Parking restrictions on the zigzag lines have not been enforced, resulting in severe congestion and general chaos.

“There is no point painting zigzag lines on a road unless you are going to enforce them – people are bound to ignore them otherwise.

“The bottom line is that the council have got to start answering letters. The fact that 70 parents wrote to the council and did not receive a response is outrageous.

“I hope the council will now sit up and listen.”