Parents to get grace period to drop off and collect children in Hawes

The public car park near the school and nursery. Photo: Google.

Parents are to get a ten minutes’ free parking to drop off their children at Hawes Primary School and the Dalesplay nursery.

The move comes after proof was provided that an informal arrangement allowing the grace period was negotiated by  the late councillor John Blackie.

Concerns were raised last week after Hawes Primary School advised that a parent was issued with a parking ticket while briefly stopped in the adjacent district council-owned Gayle Lane car park to collect their child.

Parents understood there was an agreement in place that meant they could use the car park to drop off or collect their children from the school or attached Dalesplay nursery without getting a ticket.

This informal agreement was said to have been arranged by Cllr Blackie.

However, council bosses said they could find no record of this agreement — and parents would need to buy a ticket or annual permit at a cost of £125 if they want to use the car park without running the risk of receiving a fine.

But council chiefs have now agreed to allow the grace period after  proof was provided of the agreement.

Colin Dales, corporate director for operations at Richmondshire District Council (RDC), said Cllr Jill McMullon provided him with a notice sent to parents from the primary school head teacher back in 2015.

He added: “This provided a useful lead to track back in our archived correspondence.

“In essence, there was an exchange of correspondence between the RDC service manager at the time and the head teacher.

“Unofficial car park passes had been issued by the school which needed to be stopped.

“This practice stopped and, as a gesture of good faith, the RDC service manager confirmed that parents would be allowed a 10 minute period of grace at primary school opening and closing times.

“This agreement was confirmed in writing by the service manager.

“As this formal communication has been confirmed I am happy to continue to honour this arrangement in terms of the 10 minute period of grace at school opening and closing times.”

Mr Dales this grace period could only be honoured until March 31, 2023 when the new North Yorkshire Council would take control of parking and may want to review concessions.

Cllr McMullon added: “While no formal agreement could be found, a parent had a letter from 2015 confirming John had arranged it.

“I passed this to Colin and he agreed to honour it until March 31st next year when the new council is formed, so a ten min drop off period is allowed for now.”