Parents handed parking ban outside school gates in Haddington

St. Mary's in Haddington
St. Mary's in Haddington
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MUMS and dads are to be banned from parking next to two primary schools when dropping off and collecting their children in a bid to ­improve child safety.

The shock ban, thought to be the first of its kind in Britain, will see a 300-metre ­exclusion zone set up around the schools during school-run hours.

Councillors said the “experimental” ban would be in force for around 14 months from April next year because parents were risking lives and clogging streets through reckless driving.

Education bosses in East Lothian admitted the clampdown could be rolled out if feedback is positive.

The ban on parking next to two primaries – St Mary’s and King’s Meadow – and Haddington Infant school in Haddington, East Lothian, will operate between Monday and Thursday from 8.30am-9.30am and 3pm-4pm.

On Fridays, when schools close at lunchtime, vehicles will be banned from 8.30am-9.30am and 11.45am-12.45pm.

The ban will not apply to residents, blue badge and permit holders.

East Lothian education leader Shamin Akhtar said: “We’re bringing this in 
because some drivers were making dangerous turns and other manoeuvres which we thought were inappropriate close to schools. At the end of the experiment we will talk to parent councils and the police,” she said.

“If the feedback was positive and no new problems were identified we would look at extending the order to new areas on a case-by-case basis.”

Local councillor Stuart Currie told a meeting on the issue last week: “It is this crazy attitude of trying to get five feet closer to the school by parents who are putting their own children at risk.”

The council said support from Lothian and Borders Police to enforce the ban would be sought. Eleanor Coner, of the Scottish Parent Teacher Council, welcomed the ban and said: “It sends out a very strong message. There are always complaints about parking and traffic in schools.”

But motoring groups expressed concern. AA president Edmund King said: “I think sometimes when the local authority takes action this backfires and transfers the problem onto adjacent streets.”

He added: “It’s easy to vilify the school run but you need to look at the deeper issues. Sometimes parents need their cars to go on to work after dropping their children off.”

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