A DARLINGTON man criticised the "dangerous" actions of motorists after a residential street was left completely gridlocked on Wednesday afternoon.

Brian Boggon captured the moment droves of cars became backed up on The Headlands as parents picked up their children from nearby Carmel College.

Mr Boggon, who has lived on the street for 27 years, said cars were left double-parked, blocking driveways and junctions, while others were seen being driven down the pavement on both sides.

Speaking to The Northern Echo, he warned that the situation, which he described as getting "worse and worse", had become an accident "waiting to happen".

He said: "Just the day before, a councillor was pleading to families to be courteous and then this happened.

"It was a pantomime, the pictures do not convey how bad it was – for residents, there was no way you could have got in to your house or street.

"If it had been a fire engine, or an ambulance, I don't know what they would have done, it was chaos."

The Northern Echo:

Mr Boggon, who urged Darlington Borough Council and Carmel College to come up with a solution, said the problem had been getting increasingly worse in recent years.

He said: "There are other streets around, why do they want to sit in this, they could have parked on those quieter streets, but they want to be as close to the front gates as possible.

"I understand that it is a catholic school and people come from far and wide and I am sympathetic to that, but I am not sympathetic to all of them piling onto a small street."

Mr Boggon said The Headlands would benefit from a temporary one-way system, or permanent parking management, in order to alleviate the problem at hometime.

The Northern Echo:

He added: "Every day there is chaos in this street and it’s only a matter of time before a serious accident happens."

In response, Darlington Borough Council urged parents to act responsibly and said it would be sending enforcement officers to monitor the situation.

Councillor Andy Keir, cabinet member for local services, said: “We’re acting on the complaints from The Headlands and we’ll be sending enforcement officers to the area today (Thurs).

"We’ll continue to monitor the situation, in conjunction with the school leadership.

“We were expecting that the first few days of the school return would throw up some challenges and we’re hopeful that a combination of education, enforcement and encouragement to use school transport or to walk, scoot or cycle to school, will improve matters quickly.

“We’d urge all parents, regardless of the school their child attends, to be respectful and responsible when dropping off or picking up.

"It may be that you’re only parking up for a few minutes, but poor parking causes daily disruption for residents.

"We’d ask parents to consider parking a few streets away from the school and walking the last few minutes, which will ease congestion.”

A spokesman for Carmel College said it had reminded all parents of traffic management requirements in hopes the scenes captured by Mr Boggon would not 'reoccur.'

They said: “We always value feedback from our neighbouring community and I would like to thank Mr Boggon for drawing this matter to our attention.

“After so many months away from school life, many parents were very keen to collect their child.

“Parents were requested to follow the guidance of a voluntary one-way system, to collect away from the college gates and to park with consideration for the neighbours.

“We have reminded all parents of the traffic management requirements and so we hope this ‘first day at school’ will not reoccur.

“We are looking forward to working with and supporting Mr Boggon to find a more permanent resolution that suits all parties concerned.”