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Ludworth School hoping to increase numbers

Plans to increase the number of pupils at Ludworth Primary School in Marple Bridge are causing concern for local residents worried about congestion and the lack of parking in the area.

According to residents, traffic is already blocking the roads through the village and they fear that by adding even more children to the school roll, the problem will get considerably worse.

Two consultation events held at the school in June revealed Stockport Council’s proposal to expand the intake of pupils into the reception class by an additional 15 children next year. This would result in a total of 90 extra pupils by the time they have progressed through the school by 2025. The extension and remodelling of the school would also improve safeguarding by improving security to the entrance.

However some residents felt that the consultation had not been advertised widely enough, claiming that they did not receive letters about it, despite living very close by.

There is currently a demand for more school places in the Stockport area and Ludworth has been identified as one of the school where expansion could take place. This would take the total to 420 pupils by 2025 which residents feel is inappropriate and they are calling for something to be done about traffic congestion and parking if the plan is to go ahead.

One resident who asked not to be named said that her driveway has regularly been blocked by parents dropping off and picking up children from the school at the start and end of the day.

“I do sympathise with parents as the roads are so busy and they are probably in a rush to get to work. They are obviously stressed and they finally arrive with just minutes to spare and then there really is nowhere for them to park. They either block our drives, park opposite so tightly that we can’t get out, or park on double yellow lines to get their children into school on time.

“Some park on the pavements and unload their children into the road, which is really dangerous, and one elderly resident told me that he has to time his shopping so that he gets home before 2.30pm so that he can get back on his driveway. This is disenfranchising elderly people making them literally prisoners in their homes at certain times of the day.”

“We don’t think we should have to put up with this and the council really needs to do something about it if this expansion is to go ahead,” she added.

Marple North’s Cllr Malcolm Allan has already been contacted by a number of local residents and feels that a number of options should be considered to tackle the problem rather than just one.

“Ludworth has been a popular and well run school for many years and deserves our support but we must also listen to and address residents’ and parents’ concerns. My aim is to make sure wider consultation takes place and that traffic issues are tackled and for that we need to look at more than one solution and put together a package of changes,” he said.

Ideas suggested so far include the resurfacing of the parking spaces on the lower part of Brabyns Park and using extra spaces away from the congestion of Lower Fold.

“There isn’t only one answer,” said Cllr Allen, “it might be a series of small changes and additions that makes this work,” he added.

Cllr Dean Fitzpatrick, Cabinet Member for Education at Stockport Council confirmed that people will be able to have their say over the next few months.

“There are plans to expand Ludworth Primary School but this is at a very early stage and the council has yet to apply for planning permission.

“The council has already done two consultations which will help us shape the planning application and further consultations will take place throughout the process,” he concluded.