Sunday 14 July 2024
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Plans to limit ‘parking chaos’ outside new Nottinghamshire schools

Nottinghamshire County Council will request designated pick-up and drop-off areas be installed at all new schools in the future to stop parking chaos at peak times.

The Conservative-led authority has supported a motion aimed at reducing congestion in housing areas close to schools.

It follows councillors raising stories from their communities of cars blocking drives near schools and children’s safety being put “at risk”.

They say one of the biggest complaints in their inboxes relates to parking problems outside schools and concerns about issues getting out of hand.

And they say the county council regularly has to “foot the bill” to install traffic calming methods like double yellow lines when new schools are built.

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But now the council will request any new schools built in the county have designated drop-off and pick-up areas on their land to reduce the risk of parking problems.

This includes all sites built by the authority as an education authority, as well as schools promised by housing developers as part of large developments.

It followed a motion proposed by Cllr Sam Smith (Con), who represents Newark East and said at least two schools in his area experience parking issues.

He described cars blocking driveways, causing congested roads and queues during peak hours and leading to complaints from his community.

Proposing the motion, he told the chamber issues put children’s safety at risk across the county and said steps need to be taken to stop it from happening at new schools.

“We can change that,” he said.

“When a planning application is made for a new school on any land in Nottinghamshire, this council should respond to planning authorities to request land is available for drop-off and pick-up points.

“Doing so will improve road safety, prevent queues of traffic outside new schools reduce the expense of this council in having to install parking restriction methods at a later date, mitigate congestion on residential streets and lower the CO2 emissions outside schools.

“New schools should be the heartbeat of new communities, not the headache of them.

“That’s why having a designated pick-up and drop-off point inside the boundary of new schools across our county is not just a convenience but a necessity.”

The motion was supported by all Conservative councillors as well as the Independent Alliance, although Labour abstained from the vote.

It meant the motion was passed with 41 votes in favour and eight abstentions.

Cllr Steve Carr (Ind), of the Independent Alliance, said his group was supportive of the motion but did have questions about some elements of its proposals.

He said: “We’re happy with the motion itself but we have questions about specific things not covered in it.”

However, there was no debate on the plans because the meeting ran out of time.

New constitutional rules meant the motion had to be taken directly to the vote after 5.15pm to prevent the meeting from exceeding its 5.30pm deadline.

This led to Labour abstaining from the vote as it prevented the group from tabling what it described as a “sensible” amendment.

Explaining the constitutional rules, Adrian Smith, the authority’s chief executive, told the chamber: “I’m afraid, given we’ve ticked beyond 5.15pm, we need to move this item to a vote.”

He added: “We haven’t got time for the debate, so it needs to be moved to the vote.”

Cllr Penny Gowland (Lab), who represents West Bridgford South, said: “We need an amendment to the constitution so we don’t start a debate at 5.05pm.”

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