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Deputy Head, students and an Enforcement Officer outside Athelstan Primary School
Deputy Head, students and an Enforcement Officer outside Athelstan Primary School

Problem parkers putting lives at risk outside schools

31 January 2017

Parents who park illegally outside of schools are potentially putting lives at risk and disrupting children’s education.

That’s the message from Sheffield City Council’s civil enforcement officers and South Yorkshire Police, who have carried out a six-week operation outside seven city schools in a bid to educate drivers who park on double yellow lines and keep clear signs close to schools.

In one instance, a group of school children from Athelstan Primary School in Handsworth were unable to leave for a school trip to Magna – because their school coach was blocked in by an illegally-parked parent.
Enforcement officers have been attending some of the schools which have reported particular problems twice a day – including Athelstan, Birley Primary School and Mosborough School, reminding motorists of where it is safe to park and issuing fixed penalty notices.

Lisa Watson, deputy headteacher at Athelstan School, said: “My message to parents and carers is that, if they have to drive to school, to park a sensible distance away and walk to collect their children from the school gates.

“Our school has a number of initiatives to promote safe journeys into school, such as our morning drop-off zone, so there is no need to put children’s safety at risk.

“These restrictions are in place for a reason – safeguarding our children will always be a priority at Athelstan, and parents and carers need to think about this before someone is seriously hurt as a result of parking illegally.”

Councillor Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for infrastructure and transport at Sheffield City Council, said: “Most parents have been supportive and make sensible decisions about where to park when they are picking up their children. This operation was in response to complaints we have received about problem parking at primary schools across the city.

“We know that parents often have little time to spare when it comes to collecting their children but they simply mustn’t flout rules outside schools – they are in place to keep children safe.

“Our parking officers work closely with the police to ensure motorists observe School Keep Clear restrictions and we are rolling out new city-wide 20mph speed limits which will make all our roads safer.

“Our parking officers also work with schools and staff to ensure that children act safely when travelling to school and have a number of speed checking cameras and signs which will make our roads across the city safer.”

Inspector Jason Booth from South Yorkshire Police, who supported the operation, said: “We have been addressing inconsiderate and dangerous parking around local schools. The parking of vehicles in this way places both children and parents at risk, Some parents have been openly angry at the recent enforcement but others are very much in support and I do not make any apologies in ensuring the safety of kids.”