Nottinghamshire County Councillors have agreed plans to bolster parking enforcement outside schools – by agreeing to fund a second CCTV road safety car.
The move comes after high demand for the current vehicle – which has been helping enforce ‘keep clear’ markings outside schools since March 2016.
Dangerous and inconsiderate parking can seriously jeopardise road safety for children and it is a significant source of complaints and requests for parking enforcement.
Latest figures show that 951 penalty charge notices have been issued to motorists from December 2016 to September 2017 for parking dangerously and inconsiderately on ‘keep clear’ markings outside schools (718) and on bus stops (233) This type of parking can potentially block or prevent a bus from stopping there and cause congestion behind the bus if it is unable to move. In addition, it prevents passengers with mobility problems or pushchairs getting on or off the bus at the raised kerb edge.
The number of PCNs issued to date is 1290.
Plans to purchase a new vehicle were agreed at the Community and Place Committee today (Decemver 7) Councillor John Cottee, who chairs this Committee said:
“This decision is part of our commitment to road safety around schools in the county and will help to address this genuine problems of dangerous or inconsiderate parking in many areas around school drop off and pick up times.
“We are keen to be able to meet the high demand we have had from schools, parents and others in local communities who have got in touch requesting this car to visit their area to help address these issues – so a second vehicle is essential for this.
“Our county has approximately 330 schools, spread across rural and suburban locations, so traditional enforcement on foot can be inefficient.
“I must make clear that our purpose in using a car-based enforcement system is not to raise revenue, in fact the existing CCTV car runs at a slight financial deficit for the Council. Our aim is to improve safety and stop dangerous and inconsiderate parking near schools and bus stops, which we know causes a great deal of concern.”
The new vehicle will cost £45,000 including the camera and software costs as well as maintenance costs for the first year. The vehicle is due to be purchased before the end of the year so it can start operating after Easter 2018.
Nicola Davies, Head Teacher of Holgate Primary school, Hucknall, welcomed the news of a second CCTV car to help deter dangerous and inconsiderate parking outside school gates,
“Any extra resource that helps to improve road safety for our school and local community is to be welcomed.
“Unfortunately, inconsiderate or dangerous parking near our school is a real challenge for us and can lead to complaints from local residents too.
“We do all we can to make parking easier for parents, as each day three or four staff currently take it in turns to help direct people on the correct use of our ‘drop off’ zone and encourage parents to try to use this and exit the school premises without the need to park anywhere at all on site at the school or in the vicinity”
“We all want to do everything we can to help keep children safe when arriving and leaving the school each day – and this second CCTV car will help greatly to deter discourteous parking and some of the associated aggravated behaviour our local residents endure.”
All money generated by the penalty charge notices (PCN) go directly towards paying for the car and ongoing running costs of the equipment, driver and software support. A PCN issued is £70 which is reduced to £35 if paid within 14 days.
Images show the sort of dangerous parking manoeuvres occurring outside Nottinghamshire schools – captured by the existing CCTV road safety camera car.