Friday, 6 September 2013

Initiative to tackle problem parking at schools

Parents and carers who take children to school by car are being urged not to park irresponsibly at school gates.

the3towns has previously reported on particular problems caused by irresponsible parking at St Peter’s Primary School in South Isle Road, Ardrossan. Now, North Ayrshire Council has launched a ‘Park Smart’ campaign, with the message ‘Parking at school gates is dangerous and selfish’.

Every year, children’s lives are put at risk by parents and carers parking on yellow zigzag lines, pavements or other areas near entrances to schools. Of the new campaign, Kilwinning Independent councillor Robert Steele said, “It is understandable that busy parents wish to drop their children off as close to the school as possible. However, the important issue is about keeping all our children safe when they are crossing roads outside schools, rather than convenience and saving time.”

Cllr Steel, the North Ayrshire representative on the West of Scotland's Road Safety Group, added, “We also promote the use of active alternatives, such as leaving the car at home and walking or cycling to school, or parking further away and finishing the journey on foot.

“Irresponsible parking and driving near schools poses a considerable risk to pedestrians of all ages. It is important for us to encourage parents to consider the possible consequences that may result from thoughtless actions.”

The ‘Park Smart’ initiative will help the Council’s road safety unit target areas, in consultation with head teachers, where there is a particular problem with parking or stopping too near school gates at the start or end of the school-day. Waterproof banners will be displayed outside schools to remind drivers of the dangers of poor parking.

Inspector David Carballo of Police Scotland said, “It is disappointing that many parents and other drivers continue to park indiscriminately outside schools.

“Parked vehicles can mask children and adults trying to cross the road and the potentially tragic outcomes should be clear to all. The responsibility for parking in a safe place to pick up or drop off children rests solely with the driver.”

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