Prisoner in his own driveway

BANORA Point resident Aaron Peters feels trapped in his home every school afternoon.

Mr Peters, 23, who lives in Pioneer Parade, claims a new parent drop-off and pick-up area at Banora Point Pub- lic School down the road from his home has cars lining up bumper-to-bumper, blocking off his driveway and the entire street for at least 40 minutes.

Mr Peters said until the change in the school's system more than two weeks ago there was no problem.

“Parents used to just park on the side of the road and it was bearable,” Mr Peters said.

“Now they are lining the streets, double-parking and not allowing residents to leave their driveways.”

Mr Peters missed a doctor's appointment last week because drivers would not let him out of his driveway.

“I have to line up for 20 minutes to get out of my own street; it's ridiculous,” he said.

“I did not have any warning they were changing their policy or that it would have such an effect on the street.”

Mr Peters said he was concerned for any emergency situation that would require immediate paramedic, police or fire brigade presence in the street.

“If anything happened during that time in the street no one would be able to get through to help,” he said.

Banora Point Primary School principal Dean Files defended the new pro- cedure, claiming it is a Roads and Traffic Authority and Tweed Shire Council-approved project designed to create a safer environment for the school's 520 students.

“I admit it was a bit slow during the wet weeks about a month ago, but the process has sped up significantly since then,” Mr Files said.

“It's creating a safer environment for children. It was chaotic before.”

A set of guidelines released to par- ents advises them not to double park, and to always give way to all vehicles and pedestrians. It also said the purpose of the new procedure is to separate school traffic from through traffic on Pioneer Parade.

Mr Files also said the community was well informed of the change. A public meeting with more than 70 residents was held to discuss the changes.

“The last thing we wanted to do was create problems for our neighbours,” Mr Files said.

“Any residents who would like to discuss these issues can contact myself at the school.”

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