Three new enforcement officers for Ipswich to tackle school parking problem

PCSO John Hood talking to drivers outside Cliff Lane School.

PCSO John Hood talking to drivers outside Cliff Lane School.

More parking wardens will soon be patrolling outside Ipswich schools after concerns were raised over parent and child safety.

Ipswich Borough Council is recruiting three extra enforcement officers in a bid to stop cars parking dangerously near schools in the town.

The news was revealed during the borough council’s South West Ipswich Committee meeting on Thursday night by Gipping councillor Peter Gardiner.

He said the current parking situation outside of schools was a danger to not only parents and children but also residents.

“We are sending them out there to overcome what is clearly a problem which is recognised by schools, parents and local residents,” he added.

The full-time parking enforcement officers will be spread across the town but will be dedicated to areas outside schools at certain times of the day.

It is hoped that the wardens will become self-financing after a period of time from the money that is collected from penalty notices.

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Mr Gardiner said there were a number of parking “hot-spots” in the south west of the town, particularly outside Suffolk One sixth form and around Stone Lodge Lane where there were three schools in close proximity of each other.

Borough councillor for the Sprites ward Roger Fern said he hoped the move would help relieve some of the parking issues outside Sprites and Gusford primary schools, which he deemed two of the “worst offenders”.

He added: “If this helps persuade people to encourage their children to walk to school or to park more carefully then I think it is a really good move.”

In October last year, the borough council’s North East Area Committee agreed to fund a six-week trial of a civil parking enforcement officer who would be dedicated to patrolling outside schools.

This came after two children were involved in collisions with cars near to Gusford and Cliff Lane primary schools within a couple of weeks of each other in September 2014 - both incidents happened at around 8.40am.

Last year, the Ipswich Star ran a campaign called Park Smart which aimed to raise awareness of the dangers posed by cars parked inconsiderately, and sometimes illegally, in the roads surrounding primary schools.

The campaign gathered support from parents, with many claiming that more needed to be done to keep children safe outside the school gates.