Parents face fines in new school run parking crackdown

Flora Stevenson Primary School is among those getting involved. Picture: Toby Williams.
Flora Stevenson Primary School is among those getting involved. Picture: Toby Williams.
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Parents who persistently pull up on double yellow lines while dropping their children off at school face being slapped with a fine in a new crackdown.

Traffic wardens will be visiting a number of primaries across the Capital as part of the new “ParkSmart” initiative, which aims to reduce congestion at the beginning and end of the school day.

The three-week scheme has been rolled out across 19 schools in an effort to highlight the hazards caused by drivers who choose to double park, mount the pavement or stop on yellow lines.

It is hoped the initiative, which launched this week, will get more families to consider alternative modes of transport such as walking, cycling or “park and stride”, which involves parking further away from school and walking the last part of the journey.

One of the schools taking part in the initiative is Flora Stevenson Primary School.

Headteacher Irene Brennan said she looked forward to seeing its positive effects.

She said: “We are delighted to participate in this excellent initiative.

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“Considerate parking affects the safety, health and wellbeing of our children and our relationships with our neighbours.

“At Flora, children, staff and parents are looking forward to seeing the positive impact of this initiative.”

The scheme’s first week has seen pupils sharing their own ways of getting to school, as well as surveying traffic outside their school gates.

They have also been tasked with asking parents to pledge to walk, cycle or park and stride to school in future.

In the second week, parking attendants will then visit schools, issuing tickets to those who persistently park on double yellow lines, while pupils will continue to learn about safe and active travel.

Week three will see participants carry out final surveys and traffic counts to compare with the beginning of the campaign and to reflect on lessons learned.

The ParkSmart scheme builds on the success of the School Streets initiative, which was introduced to nine schools from September 2015 and restricts cars from adjacent streets at the beginning and end of the day.

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More than 30 schools across the Capital registered an interest in taking part, with ten eventually chosen to spearhead the scheme.

Since launching, it has seen more children walking to school, as well as a reduction in car speeds on nearby streets.

Lesley Hinds, the council’s transport and environment leader, said: “We want to create a safer, more relaxed atmosphere around schools, so that’s why we’re working to discourage parents from 
driving straight up to the gates at the start and end of the day.

“We’ve already seen from our School Streets scheme how limiting traffic around schools can have a positive impact so I’m certain that this period of awareness-raising as part of ParkSmart will have a similar effect and result in parents re-thinking their travel choices.”