A long-standing dispute over parking at the rear entrance to the popular Carniny Primary School is threatening to boil over.
A number of residents at Carnview Park, just off the Carniny Road, have called in a local assemblyman and a former Mayor of Ballymena to try and resolve a problem which has grown even worse in recent years.
DUP Assemblyman, David McIlveen and local party collegue, Cllr. Audrey Wales visited the area to address the concerns of the residents.
The parking problems arise because the rear pedestrian entrance at Carniny Primary School is found at the top of Carnview Park.
In recent times, residents and parents have clashed over a dispute between respect to a residential area against the needs of parents doing the school pick up or drop off. As a result of these disagreements, the local politicians were asked by residents to help broker an agreement.
Assmblyman McIlveen commented: “Carnview Park is a quiet cul-de-sac and whilst parking spaces where marked out on the turning circle in an attempt to alleviate problems, this unfortunately has given the impression of creating a car park, which it was never intended to do.
“I fully appreciate that for some parents the Carniny Road side of the school is more convenient, however the pedestrian entrance was designed initially to facilitate children who were walking home from school, not those who are being collected by car. A quick drop off in the morning is not a major problem, however in the afternoon at collection time I witnessed with my own eyes the problems that so many cars parked in such a confined residential area can cause.
“In reality between the hours of 1:30pm and 3pm the capacity of this small street is reduced by half, making deliveries and, worse still, access for essential vehicles almost impossible. I along with Cllr Wales plan to meet representatives from the school who I know want to be a good neighbour in order to discuss what options might be available.”
Cllr Wales added: “It is clear to see why residents are concerned about this build-up of traffic in the area at certain times.
“In fact one of the parents we spoke to was very open about the fact that they choose not to buy a house on the street as a result of the parking problems, so even those parking seem to recognise the issue.
“Over many years a habit has been allowed to develop that has seen this small entrance become overused and we now need to work with the school around seeing how we can develop new habits.
“I am fully aware that parking at the Old Cullybackey side of the school has also been problematic and recognise that a school built in a residential area is susceptible to these problems, however I must confess that I could not endure the daily disruption that the residents of Carnview Park have to put up with and therefore I cannot expect my constituents to do likewise. By meeting school representatives we aim to help find the solution, not add to the problem, and a number of options will be explored.”
However, one parent argued that the politicians had adopted a ‘one-sided’ view of the problem.
Lisa McNeilly commented: “Both parents and residents need to show a mutual respect for the safety of the children and the needs of the residents. This is not always the case here. I appreciate that this must be a frustration for residents but realistically it is only an issue for 20 mins at 2 and 3 o’clock and there are times when the residents’ frustrations exacerbate the problem. Hopefully the local councillor will work with the residents, the school and the parents to find an amicable solution.”