School parking: Police to fine '˜selfish' parents in Edinburgh who flout rules

PARENTS flouting traffic bans when picking up their children from three Capital schools have been warned they face fines from police.

Wednesday, 18th January 2017, 7:14 am
Updated Wednesday, 18th January 2017, 7:22 am
Police are aiming to crack down on drivers who flout parking rules Pic Greg Macvean

Officers have issued “a number of verbal warnings” to drivers ignoring the temporary measures at Towerbank Primary in Portobello.

And now letters have been sent to parents there warning that police are ready to get tough with £50 penalties for those who continue to defy the initiative to combat traffic chaos.

Officers will also patrol Clermiston and St Peter’s, in 
Morningside, primaries under the crackdown.

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Picture; Greg Mcvean

“We are delighted that the vast majority of motorists adhere to the traffic restrictions at Towerbank,” said Insp Alan Carson. “However, a small minority still do not obey these and we will continue to monitor the area and appropriately address any offences we identify.”

The three schools make up the second round of a city council-led scheme to tackle “chaotic traffic scenes” at dropping-off and picking-up time.

Insp Carson said: “Appropriate driving and parking around schools is essential to ensure the safety of pupils and other vulnerable road users and we will robustly deal with anyone found to be ignoring the restrictions in place.”

The pilot project, enforced by police, sees traffic limited in the street directly outside schools at key times, preventing parents from parking at school gates.

Picture; Greg Mcvean

Councillors came up with the concept in a bid to help promote walking and cycling to school – as well as reduce congestion and pollution.

More than 30 schools across the city originally expressed an interest in taking part, with 11 finally selected as having “road safety” issues.

The first phase launched in September 2015, with Towerbank joining Clermiston and St Peter’s from last March.

Officers patrolling at the schools are trying to “educate” drivers but are willing to issue fines if necessary, a police spokeswoman confirmed.

Towerbank parent and chair of Portobello Community Council, Geoff Lynn, urged drivers to respect the restrictions.

He said: “It would be a great shame if any parent or carer was fined for dropping their kids off for school so this is a timely reminder to everyone that the streets around Towerbank are closed to drivers unless you’ve applied in advance for a permit. It’s worth adding that it is not just parents and carers who need to be aware.

“Delivery drivers and contractors working locally also need to pay heed to the regulations.”

Council transport leader Councillor Lesley Hinds criticised “selfish and irresponsible” parents for defying the bans.

“Our School Streets pilot has been a great success in keeping the streets around participating primary schools safe and traffic-free around pick-up and drop-off time, as well as encouraging more children to walk to school,” she said.

“The scheme only works, though, if everyone adheres to the restrictions in place.

“Unfortunately the persistent selfish and irresponsible behaviour of a number of Towerbank Primary School parents has given police no option but to clamp down with the threat of fines.”