Boss of “Hogwarts” private school pleads with “selfish” parents to park safely

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THE head of a top private school has pleaded with “careless and selfish” parents to stop parking illegally when they pick up their children.

Cameron Wyllie, principal of George Heriot’s in Edinburgh, revealed parents had verbally abused local residents following rows over parking.

Mr Wyllie sent a letter to all parents at the £11,600-a-year school – said to be the inspiration for JK Rowling’s Hogwarts – urging them to “avoid creating contentious and potentially dangerous situations”.

One parent was so disregarding of road regulations that she parked on the zigzags.

Pictures taken outside the school this week showed several cases of parents parking on double yellows in the congested and busy city centre street.

And in one case, a parent parked on zig zags to get out and chat to another waiting parent.

Mr Wylie told parents: “I had to deal with a justifiably very upset member of the public – a neighbour of the school – who had been verbally abused by one of our parents who was illegally parked waiting to pick up their child in the afternoon.

“I was contacted by one of our own parents who had to put up with some unpleasant sexist abuse beside the Vennel Gate from someone dropping their child off.

“So, please, again may I plead that you do not park illegally on Lauriston Place or in Quartermile, and thus avoid creating contentious and potentially dangerous situations for other parents and all our children.”

Parking on double yellows, and the pavement in Quarternile, right opposite the school

In a statement, Mr Wylie added: “At Heriot’s, we are committed to maintaining good relations with our neighbours in our city centre site, and to ensuring the health and safety of our pupils.

“We are very sorry that a very small minority of our parents, through careless and selfish parking, continue to jeopardise these objectives.

“I have, on the back of two recent complaints, written again to all our parents, asking them to obey the law, and thus avoid inconveniencing and upsetting our neighbours, and threatening the safety of all our pupils.”

One eyewitness to the parking chaos on Wednesday this week said: “One mother actually left her car parked on zig zag lines and then went off to talk to another parent, leaving her car parked. Other parents were parked on corners and traffic had to stop at points to let oncoming buses and cars through.”

One parent reverses to the point where she is right on the corner despite no cars infront of her, and causing an obstruction, as well as parking in a cycle lane.

Jack Cousens, spokesman for the AA highlighted that parents need to be aware of other road used around them whilst picking up or dropping of pupils at school.

He said: “This is a really common problem around schools, parents dropping off are keen to get to work and when they’re picking up thei children they want to get home or go to an after school sports club.

“But that doesn’t mean they should be parking illegally or on corners and causing problems for other road users.

“It affects visibility of road users as well as pedestrians who might be trying to cross the road, it is dangerous.”

The £11,600 a-year-school is said to have been the inspiration behind JK Rowling’s Hogwarts.
Credit: Dave Morris

The list of former pupils includes actor Ken Stott, DJ Mark Goodier, rugby players Andy Irvine, Ken Scotland, Iain, Kenny and David Milne, artist Henry Raeburn and Lord Mackay of Clashfern, advocate and ex-Lord Chancellor.

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