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Residents unhappy about school traffic

Although the planned Indoor Outdoor Experience has been greeted with enthusiasm by parents, some residents are less than happy that they will continue to have a school on their doorstep.

A school has been located at the site on Lightbourne Road in Smith’s for the last 50 years. But neighbours claim they have become increasingly concerned at the amount of traffic that such a facility creates when parents drop off and pick up their children at the start and end of the school day.

One resident said that many in the neighbourhood were “glad” when they learned earlier this year that the current occupiers — Montessori Preparatory School — would be shutting its doors after 15 years at the venue.

“We all thought it would mean that we were finally going to be rid of this whole load of traffic,” the resident, who asked not to be named, said.

“So now we hear that another school is going to open, and if there are going to be even more children attending this new school, well I think that’s a no-no.”

Complaints against inconsiderate drivers dropping off their children included blocking driveways and speeding.

“I understand that people are busy and have to make time, but it’s dangerous — I have grandchildren and they have to be very careful,” the resident said.

“I have absolutely nothing against the nursery, and Montessori closes at 3.30pm, which is good because all the traffic has gone before all the residents return.

“But it can still get congested in the morning and also when the school holds functions. The cars can be parked up along my gate and some drivers will also remove your trash can so they can park. “

Montessori principal Liz Braithwaite said she sympathised with the concerns of residents, but added that the school, which is shutting down at the end of this month, had done everything it could to reduce congestion.

“We have always been sympathetic towards our neighbours,” Ms Braithwaite said. “We have two teachers on gate duty in the morning between 8am and 8.45am and the parents don’t ever actually get out of their cars. Then. at 2.40pm, when the school closes, all the teachers are outside.

“We have always tried to be courteous and cautious and have worked to remind parents at all times that they are in a residential neighbourhood.”

McCartney Darrell, who will be operating the new school at the location in September, also said that she sympathised with resident concerns.

But she said she did not predict there being any additional problems with traffic — even though the school will cater to more students than Montessori.

“Because everyone works different schedules, drop-off times are really sporadic — between 7.45am and 9.30am,” she said. “I certainly don’t want to antagonise or alienate the residents before we have moved in, but I can assure them that we have always been phenomenal, caring tenants.”

Lightbourne Road: Montessori Preparatory School attracts traffic at the start and end of the school day. (Photo by Akil Simmons)

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Published June 12, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 12, 2013 at 12:14 am)

Residents unhappy about school traffic

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