Zigzag parking could lead to fines

NOTTINGHAMSHIRE County Council is set to tackle the growing problem of cars parking irresponsibly near schools – often creating potentially dangerous situations.

The council’s transport and highways committee has approved a report which recommends that ‘keep clear’ markings outside the county’s schools be converted from advisory to mandatory – meaning that they can be enforced.

School ‘keep clear’ markings, with projecting zigzag markings either side of the wording, are placed across the pedestrian access to schools and are intended to provide a clear space so that children crossing the road can see and be seen.

The vast majority of parents respect the markings. However, some drivers ignore them, putting the safety of pupils at risk.

“Problems associated with parking close to schools are a long-standing issue which has increased over time due to the growth in car ownership and the number of pupils being taken to school by car,” said Suzanne Heydon, the county council’s group manager for highway safety.

“Up to now the markings have only been advisory and we have had to rely on head teachers working with parents and asking them to park more considerately. In many cases, however, the problem has continued.

“Making the markings mandatory means that civil enforcement officers will be able to issue a Penalty Charge Notice to offenders, in line with other parking offences.

“This measure, coupled with clear information on enforcement sent out to parents, has proved effective elsewhere in Britain.”

A consultation period to implement the necessary traffic regulation orders will be carried before any final decision is made.