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Does your child's school need tougher parking restrictions?

PUBLISHED: 06:35 26 July 2019

Calls have been made for tougher parking restrictions outside schools. Picture: OLIVER SULLIVAN

Calls have been made for tougher parking restrictions outside schools. Picture: OLIVER SULLIVAN

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A crackdown on bad parking outside schools is being planned across Suffolk.

Asset Education chief executive Clare Flintoff said schools needed to work with parents. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNAsset Education chief executive Clare Flintoff said schools needed to work with parents. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Parking enforcement is currently the responsibility of Suffolk police, but powers are set to be transferred to district and borough councils in the near future.

Stretched police resources have meant officers have not been able to make parking outside schools a priority.

However Suffolk Highways' chief has said work with schools, towns and parish councils is under way to crack down harder once councils take over those responsibilities.

Among the measures are plans for no stopping markings between 8am and 4.30pm on weekdays.

Parking outside of schools is a countywide problem according to Mary Evans. Picture: GREGG BROWNParking outside of schools is a countywide problem according to Mary Evans. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Conservative cabinet member for highways Mary Evans said: "Parking outside school entrances is one we hear a lot from residents who are fed up and cannot get past.

"It's a road safety issue with kids crossing the road.

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"I don't think there is anyone with a primary school that hasn't got a parking problem.

Mary Evans said conversations were ongoing with schools and town and parish councils. Picture: GREGG BROWNMary Evans said conversations were ongoing with schools and town and parish councils. Picture: GREGG BROWN

"It's an issue so we need to make sure parking is planned away from the school gates so it is safe."

It is not yet clear when parking enforcement powers will transfer, as delays in Brexit negotiations has meant the Parliamentary timetable has been unable to accommodate the legislation change needed.

To date, only Ipswich Borough Council has the delegated powers to carry out those responsibilities.

Clare Flintoff, chief executive of ASSET Education multi-academy trust, said: "Ensuring that children have a safe route to school and keeping the area immediately outside the school gates as safe as possible is certainly a concern for us and affects all of our schools.

"There have been occasions when we have asked the police to step in and their presence at peak times has been a reminder to parents to park safely and not within restricted areas.

"All parents want their children to arrive safely at school and the vast majority will act responsibly.

"Some of our schools keep the area immediately outside of the school safe by putting out their own cones and some ensure that staff are present to enable parents to drop off quickly.

"Working with parents to solve the problem rather than against them by issuing penalty notices would always be our preference especially as enforcement in this way is pretty difficult to do in a 10 or 15-minute slot twice a day."

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