Parking at Falkirk school causes upset

Formula 1 Car Centre says it uses the parking spaces legally
Formula 1 Car Centre says it uses the parking spaces legally

Parents and a car sales boss are involved in a war of words over parking spaces beside a primary school.

Paul Cowan, manager of the Formula 1 Car Centre in High Station Road, has been accused of monopolising the spaces, using them as an extension of his showroom.

He rejects the claims, and says part of the problem is that parents are unwilling to walk more than a few yards when they drop their youngsters at school.

Some parents of children at Comely Park Primary have set up an online petition, which already has 120 signatures. They plan to pass it on to Falkirk Council in a bid to get them to act.

School PTA co-chair Mairi Summers said the garage had been using the parking spaces, where waiting is restricted to two hours, to sell cars for a considerable time. She claimed that recently the business blocked access and had a vehicle transporter in the playground during school hours earlier this month.

Mairi said: “This garage owner monopolises the area. Any available space becomes an extension of his showroom. He seems to have total disregard for other road users, pedestrians and school children.

“Comely Park is an urban school with very limited parking for parents dropping their kids off or picking them up and Formula 1 is taking the very few there are for themselves.

“The spaces aren’t there for cars to be sold from.”

Mr Cowan said the garage was not breaking the law and had a good relationship with the school, council and police.

He said: “We occasionally use the parking spaces to move cars but we do not break any laws.

“We only use the playground when the school is closed and there are no children about.

“We don’t block access to the school but we do use the access road, which doesn’t belong to the school.

Mr Cowan added: “The parents refuse to walk more than 10 metres to get their kids to school and about 100 cars descend here every morning. It’s chaos. They use the bus stop and pavement to stop in.”

He added: “If I didn’t use the spaces, people using Falkirk High Station would.”

Gary Greenhorn, acting joint head of education with Falkirk Council confirmed Education Services was aware of the concerns and was seeking legal advice on the matter.