Jan 24 2013 by Hannah Bewley, Harrow Observer
A COACH driver is satisfied children’s safety is guaranteed after a long battle to change parking.
Lalit Gohil drops off and picks pupils up from Harrow Leisure Centre, but was concerned someone was going to be injured at a junction used by coachloads of children each day.
Mr Gohil said he has been petitioning Harrow Council to change where coaches and cars can park at the centre, in Christchurch Avenue, as previously children would have to walk off the coaches in what he describes as ‘the middle of the road’.
Conservative MP for Harrow East, Bob Blackman, recently got involved with the cause and now the changes have been made.
Mr Gohil said: “I have been trying to do something about this for years and my argument was ‘are they going to wait until there is a serious accident before something gets changed?’
“I have been working for the company for 13 years and it has always been a problem, thankfully there have been no injuries.”
The council has marked out a yellow box which cars cannot enter and which gives coaches a safe place to pick children up and drop them off, while a large sign has been put up to make motorists aware.
Mr Gohil, of Buckingham Road, Edgware, said: “It has made a difference. In the past few days no one has parked there and it has made it so much safer. Teachers have been saying they feel safer getting the kids on and off the coaches and that the kids feel safer too.”
Mr Blackman said: “This has been an issue for a long time and I am pleased to see that sense has finally prevailed.”
John Edwards, divisional director of environment services, said: “The safety of children and young people has never been put at risk as they enter or leave the car park at Harrow Leisure Centre and the council have no records of complaints which suggest otherwise.
“We routinely reline bays at council-run car parks each year and the work that has taken place in the car park at Harrow Leisure Centre includes relining the disabled bay, staff and coach bay, as well as painting double yellow lines in Christchurch Avenue.”