PARENTS are to petition authorities over fears that lives are being put at risk by having to park their cars on a busy road while they take their children into nursery.

More than 100 parents who send their pre-school children to Durham County Council's Oxhill Nursery School, in Stanley, have signed the petition calling for a car park to be built.

They argue that having to park on the busy Stanley to Consett road is endangering lives, causing a nuisance and reducing nursery attendance.

Parent Jackie Martin, of nearby Harelaw, said she had secured the names of more than 100 parents for the petition in just a few hours.

She said: "It is dangerous and there are other concerns as well. For example, on one occasion a parent parked in Mandela Close and blocked the road so an ambulance could not get into the street. The whole thing must be sorted out."

School headteacher Pearl Robinson said staff had been concerned about the problem for some time.

She said it was the second time parents had petitioned the council and the school governing body had been trying to come up with a solution for years.

She said: "The problem is that our parents have to use the car because they come from such a wide area, and they cannot just drop their children off.

"They have to come in and hand them over. One idea we have had is create a kind of a car turning area, but we need help to do that."

A spokesman for the county council said it was not the authority's responsibility to provide car parks, it was council policy to encourage parents to walk their children to school or use public transport.

He said that double yellow lines had been laid down at parents' request and the council had initiated safety routes to school schemes.