Police to act on problem parking

Parking problem: Local police will be paying close attention to parking around Ferryden School.'Staff photograph
Parking problem: Local police will be paying close attention to parking around Ferryden School.'Staff photograph

PARENTS parking around Ferryden School at peak times are endangering pupils and sending out the wrong message to their children, a local councillor has said.

Councillor David May told last week’s Ferryden Community Council meeting that local police intend to be “more vigilant” on the issue since it was raised with him by the school.

Mr May told last week’s village community council meeting that problems are continuing with some parents dropping off their children in the yellow zig-zag zone outside the school in the mornings while others park in the prohibited area to collect pupils at the end of the school day.

He said: “An approach was made to the police who had a look at the possibility of cars parking at the park, but that has been ruled out for a number of reasons.

“The police, however, will be more vigilant in making sure people don’t park at the school.”

The highlighting of the problem coincides with the release of a new report which reveals that teachers across the country are concerned about the safety or pupils walking or cycling to school.

Conducted by road safety charity Brake and Hampson Hughes Solicitors, the survey of 500 UK schools found that 77 per cent of teachers feel compelled to actively campaign to make local roads safer for children.

Nine out of 10 schools thought that their local roads need to be made safer and eight in 10 want 20mph limits around the school and on routes connecting the school with local homes.

Although 20mph limits have been implemented already around most Angus schools, the charity, along with a ‘GO 20’ coalition of 11 charities, is calling for the lower speed limit to be extended and become in the norm in all communities.

The group is also keen for other measures including safe pavements, paths and crossings to be implemented by local authorities.

Julie Townsend, Brake’s deputy chief executive, said: “Schools know what’s important for kids, and they are telling us road safety is a massive issue for them. It’s telling that so many schools are actively campaigning for safer streets, showing there’s a lot more we can do to protect children’s right to walk and cycle safely.

“It’s not acceptable that children continue to be hurt and killed daily on our roads, and it’s a sad state of affairs that many are prevented from walking or cycling because of traffic danger.

“One of the best ways to protect kids on foot and bike is to slow maximum traffic speeds to 20mph around homes, schools and shops, to create a safe haven for walking and cycling.

Community council secretary Gordon Paterson said that the school, which is in the process of forming its own travel plan for pupils, has taken steps and is looking at further ways to tackle the issue itself and Mr May added that the police would be paying the area more attention.

He said: “The police will be approaching some parents but the school has been very good at contacting parents to discourage them from parking there, but inevitably it hasn’t been 100 per cent successful.

“By doing this, parents are sending out the wrong message to their children as they’re effectively saying it’s fine to break the law on this occasion because they’re parking only temporarily.

“If more pupils were walked to school, it would go some way to solving the problem.”

Chairman Gordon Brown pointed out that the zig-zags have been provided for a reason and flouting the parking restrictions around the school posed a danger to pupils.

Megan Paterson, the school’s young representative on the community council, also said that while parents had taken notice of the school’s request to keep the area around the playground clear “for a few days”, the problem soon started again. She added that children are being encouraged to walk to school for at least part of the week as part of the travel plan.