Car exclusion zones near Solihull schools to be in force by 2017
Traffic is to be banned from roads around Solihull schools in a pilot scheme aimed at stopping school-run parents parking illegally.
The scheme will see car exclusion zones created around three primary schools – banning vehicles from driving in, out or through the area.
It follows a growing number of complaints about parents parking on double yellow lines, endangering children.
Large signs will be placed at the entrance of the zones – with cars banned between 8am to 9am and from 2.30pm and 3.30pm every weekday.
Only those with permits, including residents, the disabled and emergency services, will be exempt.
The two-year measure was approved by Solihull Council yesterday (Thursday 25th February) and will start in September 2017.
If successful, it will then be rolled out across the borough.
The three schools have yet to be selected, with headteachers invited to apply to take part.
Councillor Ted Richards OBE, Chair of the Transport and Highways Committee, said: “For some years we have tried all sorts of initiatives.
“I am regularly consulted by parents and we need to be seen to be trying to solve this problem.
“My main concern is child safety. We have got to look forward with this and I think we are the only authority in England to be doing this.
“I am a governor at a school and parents start parking at 2pm with their engines still running , polluting the area.”
The pilot will cost £34,000 and the authority is in discussions with Edinburgh City Council, which implemented a similar scheme last September outside six primary schools.
Tina Wiggin, of Solihull Council, said some parents were dodging parking fines by blocking residents’ drives, which resulted in police being called.
She added: “School gate parking is an ongoing problem across the borough.
“Numerous complaints are received by disgruntled residents living in the proximity of schools due to inconsiderate parking and obstruction of driveways.
“Civil enforcement officers are reacting to complaints but are not able to be at all schools at the same time and often, when attending, cannot issue instant fines due to legislative waiting times that parents take advantage of.
“Obstruction of driveways can only be enforced by a police officer.”
Parents arriving at Greswold Primary School in Buryfield Road yesterday attacked the idea. One mum, who would not be named, said: “This is really unfair on working parents. I have a very small time slot to get from work to my daughter’s school to pick her up.
“If I couldn’t park near the school I simply wouldn’t be able to get to her in time. If I had to pay to put her in out-of-hours childcare I wouldn’t be able to work as it wouldn’t be worth it.”
Another added: “I’m a single parent trying to juggle my job and taking my children to and from school – if I couldn’t drive them there, I couldn’t work.”
There are also plans to roll out more ‘walking bus’ schemes, like those already operating at Yew Tree Primary and Kingshurst Primary schools.
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