Schools - Clamp down on parent parking

Parents who abandon their cars on zig zag lines outside the school gates are being targeted in a new crackdown.

 

Every single Lancashire County Council school is set to be visited by parking wardens in the current academic year.

 

The plan was revealed at a meeting where councillors were also told which parking perils could - and could not - be tackled be the authority's attendants.

And members heard that a "flying squad" is now visiting problem parking areas where restrictions might previously have gone unenforced.

But Peter Bell, the county’s highway regulation enforcement manager, said his priority was "keeping the roads clear", not issuing tickets.

The authority is responsible for on-street parking enforcement in all areas of Lancashire except Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen.

"If there's somebody in the car, the first thing we will do is try to move them on," he said.

 

"But if they refuse to move, we have no choice but to issue them with a ticket."

The county’s schools were asked whether they would like wardens to visit to prevent parking on zigzag lines outside their gates - but fewer than a third said they would.

Those schools were targeted between January and July this year, when 76 tickets were issued.

 

Now, the council has taken the matter into its own hands and plans to visit all schools with parking restrictions in the next twelve months. But it is not necessarily proving a popular policy.

 

Peter Bell told councillors:

"At one of the schools we visited, where parents were parked on zigzags, what did we get? The teachers coming out and saying to us, ‘Why are you picking on our parents?’ It's a difficult situation."

 

Other parking restrictions in the vicinity of zigzag lines will also be enforced.

In the first two weeks of the new scheme, 26 vehicles have been moved on. And Mr. Bell appealed for feedback from schools, so that those with the biggest problem could get repeat visits later in the year.

 

Peter Bell admitted the council had "got in a rut" by patrolling the same areas day in, day out. That had allowed hotspots to develop elsewhere, which were attracting complaints from residents.

 

Now, attendants are more responsive - "almost like a flying squad", according to Peter Bell. And that means you never know when a warden might wander by.

"We visit, people see us and compliance then goes up," Mr. Bell said. "It's not about being there once a day, but being visible enough to actually educate people that, at any time, we could be there."

In August, 152 targeted visits generated 37 parking tickets - and 116 vehicles were moved on.