New lay-by for High Tunstall College

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PARENTS dropping their children off at a town school will be able to use a new parking lay-by after councillors agreed plans.

Hartlepool Borough Council has agreed plans to build a new bus lay-by and parking lay-by in Elwick Road, Hartlepool, opposite High Tunstall College of Science.

Plans were agreed despite concerns raised by nearby residents that it could lead to more noise, litter, pollution and anti-social behaviour.

But officers say cars already park in the area so there is no reason why parking should increase, but it would mean the cars are off the road.

Officers also said that there is “no reason” for people to gather in groups which may result in anti-social behaviour. They say it would “simply” be a parking lay-by.

The decision was taken by the neighbourhood services committee and the scheme will cost £85,000, the majority of which will be funded from the Tees Valley Bus Network Improvements project, with the remaining 35 per cent coming from the council’s Local Transport Plan.

A report by Alastair Smith, the assistant director of neighbourhoods, said: “In November 2012, consultation was carried out regarding the provision of a bus lay-by in Elwick Road, opposite High Tunstall School.

“The proposal was in order to enable buses to park off the main carriageway, therefore reducing congestion and improving road safety outside the school.”

Mr Smith said there was no objections and there was then a request from ward councillors to add a parking lay-by to help ease “longstanding” parking problems.

Mr Smith added: “The lay-by would be constructed in an area which is currently grassed verge, and is regularly parked on by parents when picking up or dropping off their children.

“The verge can become churned up and unsightly during the winter, and the provision of a lay-by would alleviate this.”

Councillors heard there are no plans to provide parking spaces closer to residential properties than currently happens on the verge.

A letter from High Tunstall School said they were “very much in favour” while bus operator Stagecoach said it would help free up the road from parked vehicles and make it easier for the service 1 bus to get down the road.