Council plans for second parking enforcement vehicle outside schools

This post first appeared on Nottingham Post. Read the original article.

More than 800 drivers have been handed fines for irresponsibly parking outside schools as part of a council crackdown to keep schoolchildren safe.

Nottinghamshire County Council launched its CCTV enforcement vehicle in March 2016, which aimed to stop parents picking up and dropping off children in restricted areas outside schools.

It has been such a success, the council is now aiming to purchase a second vehicle to help them in their fight against problem parkers.

From March 2016 to December 2017, the council has issued 1,290 penalty charge notices (£70 fines), meaning fines would have generated upwards of £90,000.

Of these 806 were on school 'keep clear' zones and 443 were at bus stops.

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The vehicle is a camera-equipped car with automatic number plate recognition, which patrols schools as part of a bid to increase safety at the start and end of the day.

However, the scheme is running at a financial loss.

In 2017, it cost £47,700 to run the vehicle, but only generated an income of £35,700.

The county council is set to determine whether to fund a second vehicle at a meeting tomorrow (Thursday). It would cost around £45,000.

A report prepared for the meeting states: "Head teachers have provided excellent feedback on the car and on the ability they have to request it attends their school.

"Schools, like the council, have always received significant numbers of complaints from responsible parents and residents about vehicle owners that ignore the parking restrictions outside of schools causing congestion and jeopardising safety.

"With the introduction of enforceable restrictions supported by the car they can now refer those complaints to the enforcement team with an expectation that positive action will be taken.

"The number of PCNs issued outside of schools to date is over 1,000 which indicates that the problem is genuine and a commitment to a second vehicle will assist further with this.

Anita Blake, head teacher at St Edmund Campion Catholic Primary School in West Bridgford, said: "It is not better since the van but anything that deters parents, or anyone, from parking inconsiderately by the school is a benefit.

"It is about the safety of our children. I am so worried that one day there will be an accident because they are mounting the kerbs and do not see the children.

"We are going to petition to the local council to see if we can get it a car free zone, with only access for residents."

Ly Toon, head teacher of Abbey Road Primary School in West Bridgford, which has around 450 pupils, added: "Some are parking outside junctions or park with their wheels on the pavement.

"Though, they only say they are stopping for a minute it is gridlock and restricts the children's view of the road.

"I think buying another vehicle would be good. It will allow the council to get around to even more schools."