Schoolgate parking purge launched

STEVE DOWNES Thousands of Norfolk parents will be targeted in a countywide campaign to end the menace of dangerous parking outside the school gate during the daily drop-off and pick-up, it was revealed today.

STEVE DOWNES

Thousands of Norfolk parents will be targeted in a countywide campaign to end the menace of dangerous parking outside the school gate during the daily drop-off and pick-up, it was revealed today.

Illegal parking and clogging up roads near schools is the scourge of scores of communities - and there are fears that children's lives are being put at risk.

A crackdown was launched today as police and council officials descended on one of the parking hotspots, St William's Primary School at Thorpe St Andrew, near Norwich.

They were subjected to a tirade of abuse from some parents who objected to being given parking advice, while parents who walked their children to school welcomed the initiative.

Swoops will follow at other Norfolk schools, while every school in the county has been given leaflets to hand out to parents, telling them how to park safely and advising them to leave the car at home.

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Mary Roche, children's services transport policy manager at Norfolk County Council, said: “We are battling a culture where people depend on their cars. We want to get a strong message across to parents.”

The team at St William's Primary included a mobile police office and six officers, a road safety officer and other senior council officers.

Ms Roche said: “Where parents were parking unsafely we stopped them, gave leaflets and advice and asked them to commit to walking their children to school once a week - or to park further from the school.

“We had numerous positive comments from the parents who walk their children to school, and from residents, who were very grateful for us being there.

“There were a number of parents who were a bit abusive and didn't want to play the game at all. Incredibly, we even saw one parent dropping a child off in the middle of a road.”

The second swoop is at Lodge Lane Infant School at Old Catton on Friday, with another planned for Emneth Primary School in early December.

Advice offered includes:

t always drop children off on the pavement, not in the road

t park away from the school

t park safely

t do not block driveways, the road or the school entrance

t never park on zig-zags or yellow lines

t do not park opposite, or within 10 metres of a junction.

Rosalie Monbiot, the council's cabinet member for children's services, said: “Parents need to be aware that the rules around parking are there to protect their children.

“Walking and cycling are excellent options as they help to promote health and fitness and reduce the impact the school run has on the environment.”

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