HUNDREDS of people have signed a petition arguing parents should be allowed to use a community hall car park.

The renewed calls for a change in policy over the use of parking at Llantilio Pertholey Community Hall in Mardy follows a near miss last week.

Mum-of-two Laura Price was walking to Cylch Meithrin play school with her three-year-old and seven-month-old children in a double buggy when she was nearly hit by a car last Tuesday at around 9am.

Parents say the incident was a result of the traffic chaos at school drop-off and pick-up times.

Llantilio Pertholey Community Council has said only users of the hall can use the car park.

Previously, in an informal agreement, parents at Ysgol Gymraeg-Y-Fenni were able to use the hall car park during peak drop-off and pick-up periods.

“It is something that could easily be avoided,” said Ms Price, 25, from Underhill, Abergavenny.

“I don’t understand why they can’t open the gates.

“It is frustrating when you walk past and you see the car park completely empty.”

Mum-of-two Emma Jones said she fears a serious accident could happen.

“I worry a child will get killed or seriously hurt one of these days,” she said.

Kazryel Bolwell, 29, of Park Road, Abergavenny, parks in a residential area near the school to drop her children off.

She said the issue is getting worse, adding: “I don’t know how bad it has to get for something to happen.”

More than 400 people have signed a petition set up by Ms Price, which calls for a change in policy.

In a statement, Robert Wade, clerk at the community council, blamed the problem on drivers “who are not always as careful or considerate as they should be.”

He added: “The critics fail to explain how opening the community hall car park to the use of all and sundry would serve to avoid those problems rather than increasing them by concentrating traffic within a confined area with a fairly narrow entrance.”

Mr Wade also suggested people may use the car park to avoid parking charges in the town.

Paul Keeble, group engineer of Monmouthshire County Council (MCC) highways team said: "MCC highways has been made aware of the incident and are conscious of the issues at the school, the safety of pupils is paramount.

"The highways department is working with the school and community council to help alleviate the issues.

"Recently the highways team were successful at securing Welsh Government funding through the Safer Routes to school initiative.

"The funding is hoped to be used to provide the school with solutions to make the environment safer including the provision of a crossing on St David’s Road to improve safety and encourage more children to walk to school.

"The highways team will continue to work with the community council to seek their support to re-open the gates during school time."