Inconsiderate, and potentially dangerous, parking is increasingly causing problems outside schools.
Most local authorities have neither the time nor the powers to deal with problems outside every school in their area and the police also have limited resources.
Each school has a responsibility to encourage parents and guardians to behave considerately, and preferably leave their cars at home. Here are some ideas that might help:
Walk to School Campaigns
These campaigns do not mean that children should be encouraged to walk to school alone but for them to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
- Discuss with your pupils the issues involved with making journeys by car: environmental effects; lack of exercise; expense etc
- Give plenty of notice to allow parents time to make appropriate arrangements
- Identify and try to address issues that may make people reluctant to walk to school ie road safety, pedestrian skills, personal safety
- Recruit volunteers for each route that you identify and perform the necessary background checks
- Ensure that you have enough volunteers to cover illness/holidays
- Purchase hi-vis equipment
- Ensure that leaders are adequately trained and that you have the appropriate insurance
Car Sharing Schemes
Allow parents to make arrangements between themselves but communicate clearly what you are trying to achieve
- Arrange to pass appropriate contact details between interested parties
- Encourage new parents to get involved
School Specific leaflets
- These could be produced by pupils
- Identify the main issues: blocking driveways; parking on zig zag lines; double parking etc
- Include places that are suitable for parking/dropping off
- Suggest parents leave their cars at home for one or more days if they can’t manage the whole week
- Remind parents of the dangers caused by inconsiderate parking
Parental Parking Pledge
- All those who drive children to school should be encouraged to sign up to the pledge
- The pledge details how and where they should be parking
- If possible, find a way of identifying those who have signed up such as a car sticker or badge.
- This may not reduce the number of vehicles but should put the onus on parents to behave considerately
Local Authority Solutions
- Traffic Regulation Orders, or parking restrictions, generally take approximately six months to be completed and are not an inexpensive solution. Parking restrictions may well move the problem to a different area and are only successful if they are enforced.
- Traffic calming, by use of speed bumps or islands etc, is a permanent addition that affects traffic at all times. If you feel that it should be considered outside your school then your local authority should be consulted.