Residents living near a school are furious with parents for blocking their driveways and treating their street as a “trash bin”.
They say they have been plagued for years by motorists blocking driveways, dumping cars on street corners, and being “verbally abusive”.
Shahid Qazi, a long time resident of Old Hall Lane in Manchester points to a driver who is flouting a “no parking” sign and obstructing a resident’s driveway.
He told the Manchester Evening News: “This is everyday – our lives are ruled by school term tables and parents.
“Complete strangers are preventing us from commuting, and ruin our grass verges by leaving our street a mud bath. They know and they don’t care.”
Neighbours say that since 2018 – when bollards were installed outside Manchester Grammar School in Rusholme – the surge of school-run parking along Old Hall Lane has caused increased disruption to their lives.
The 57-year-old said: “The parking wasn’t great before the bollards were installed, but now it’s a complete mess outside our homes.
“I’ve been mocked by students when we asked them to not park on the grass or in front of driveways.
“The bollards were installed by the funding of the school, and so we asked the councillors to put bollards up on our side of the road – offering money contributions – but they refused.”
Shahid even took action against parents who were using their homes as “rubbish bins” during the school run by throwing the litter back into their vehicles.
“Two months ago an SUV with young children in, and a mum waiting for her kids from the Grammar School, finished eating and threw the whole McDonald’s bag onto the pavement,” Shahid added.
“I picked the bag up and threw it back inside, saying ‘my house is not a trash bin so take your trash with you.”
Neighbour Sheena Pilkington also recounts a similar interaction.
She said: “There was a woman in a white Range Rover who parked up on a grass verge, and was eating her fast food before throwing the litter outside.
“I spoke to her and said it’s not acceptable to do it in other people’s areas’ and she gave me a ton of verbal abuse.
“I caught her on a second occasion again, and asked ‘would you do this where you live?’, and afterwards she began shouting so I threw the rubbish back in her window.”
Having lived on the street for 43 years, Sheena has watched the increasing ‘mudslide’ outside her home where drivers have ‘created such a deep impact’ onto the grass verges that it looks like ‘great big tractors have been down there.’
“I’ve repeatedly phoned the Grammar School about parents and pupils parking on the grass verges, but our concerns have been ignored.
“My son even put makeshift bollards into the grass to prevent parking, but someone pulled them all out.
“I’ve spoken to the council too and they aren’t bothered whatsoever.
“The point is complete strangers are destroying Old Hall Lane and it’s not fair,” the 70-year-old said.
William Broome has lived on the street for 51 years, and has struggled to help his wife – who has mobility issues – get into the car when other vehicles are parked and blocking the entrance to their drive.
“My wife has difficulty walking so it’s not like we can park across the street and walk to it – it’s become a problem. I can’t get the room to reverse onto my drive at times.
“The parking, littering and grass verges have got worse each year since the bollards were installed opposite the school.
“We’re not asking for a lot of bollards but enough to make our lives easier.
“We just want people to have some consideration for the neighbourhood, and for the people who live on this street,” the 77-year-old said.
What the council and school have to say
A spokesperson for Manchester City Council said: “The Council takes concerns around pavement parking seriously, as well as ensuring the safety of pupils as they come and go from school.
“Where the Council is made aware of illegal parking it will use the powers it has to move on motorists, or prosecute when necessary with the assistance of our partners in GMP.
“More powers are needed in order to address pavement parking, an issue the Council has lobbied the government on for several- years.”
Councillor for Rusholme, Rabnawaz Akbar added: “I was copied in an email from a resident to The Manchester Grammar School on 17 March requesting them to ask their parents/students ‘to park reasonably to avoid causing trouble to others’.
“There was no mention of increase in littering in the initial communication.
“On receiving this email, I contacted the school to arrange a meeting to discuss the concerns raised by the resident.
“The meeting, where I will be accompanied by my colleague, councillor Lovecy, is scheduled for 19 April.”
High Master, Dr Martin Boulton at Manchester Grammar School said: “A few years ago the school jointly funded, along with Manchester City Council, traffic calming measures and the installation of bollards to protect grass verges on Old Hall Lane. This was at the request of the residents.
“There are parking bays on the school side of the road which are used jointly by residents and those pupils who do drive to school.
“We regularly remind pupils who drive to school about the need park in a responsible and considerate way.
“A small number of pupils drive to school and we are aware of the impact that increased traffic can have on this very busy part of the city. There are three other schools and a major trunk route a stone’s throw from MGS.
“With reference to litter and the care of the local environs our pupils and staff do weekly litter picking patrols around the areas surrounding the school, this includes Old Hall Lane and Birchfield’s Park.
“Our pupils care passionately about giving back to society and we have one of the most extensive volunteering programmes of any school, this being one small part of that.”
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