PARENTS and guardians who park illegally on the school run face £70 fines in York, under a new crackdown.
Education bosses at City of York Council are to use a camera-car from next month to catch offenders, in a bid to improve road safety near schools.
Nationally, the number of children being driven to school has doubled in the past 20 years and many local head teachers have raised concerns over parking at their school entraces and in nearby streets, the council says.
The council is also asking parents and carers to sign a pledge saying they will not park on zig zag or double yellow lines, not park on pavements, will park carefully and considerately and will consider walking or cycling instead of driving to school.
Those who park in no-stopping areas will be issued with £70 fixed penalty notices, reduced to £35 if paid within three weeks.
The council and North Yorkshire Police are working together on the move, which is accompanied by the launch of a “Parents’ Parking Promise”, encouraging parents and carers to pledge their support and help in tackling the problem.
Coun Janet Looker, council cabinet member for children’s services, said many schools suffer from inconsiderate parkers around the entrance and in nearby streets, jeopardising children’s safety.
She said: “Working with schools and parents we hope to further highlight that there are other options available than driving to school, but if parents choose this option then we want to encourage them to do this safely and join this scheme to make children feel safer on their way to and from school.
“Many head teachers have expressed concerns to us about the inappropriate parking outside their schools and in response to these concerns we are introducing the road safety camera car.
"However, we hope that by highlighting the Parking’ Parents Promise scheme it will help raise even more awareness and help further reduce poor parking around schools.”
In York, about 30 per cent of primary pupils and ten per cent of secondary pupils are driven to school, but most journeys are less than a mile, she said.
Coun Looker said the promise encourages parents and carers to park responsibly or consider using other modes of transport such as walking, cycling or buses.
By signing up and completing the Parking Promise form, parents/carers will receive a car badge unique to their children’s school, which demonstrates their commitment to parking responsibly. Letters detailing the scheme have been sent out to parents.
Tim Madgwick, Deputy Chief Constable of North Yorkshire, said: “It is really important that the roads around schools are as safe as possible and hopefully this campaign will prompt people to be more considerate and bear the safety of children in mind.
“It’s great that the children at schools in the City of York are getting involved in promoting the scheme and I would encourage as many people as possible to take part, back the campaign and help make our children safer.”
To find out more about the scheme, visit: www.york.gov.uk/schoolparking
The Parking Promise asks parents:
• not to park on zig zag or double yellow lines
• not to park on pavements
• to park carefully and considerately
• to consider walking or cycling to schools, or take part in the Park&Stride and park a short distance away from the school and walk the remaining bit