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Burnley headteachers welcome "flying squad" wardens in crackdown on illegal parking outside schools

Whittlefield Primary School headteacher Mrs Helen Kershaw and some of her pupils who staged their own protest again inconsiderate parking in May this year.
Whittlefield Primary School headteacher Mrs Helen Kershaw and some of her pupils who staged their own protest again inconsiderate parking in May this year.
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A "flying squad" of parking wardens is being brought into Burnley to crackdown on selfish and thoughtless parents, who park stop on zig-zag lines outside school gates, putting children's lives at risk.


And while fewer than a third of schools in Lancashire said they would welcome the scheme, two heads in Burnley, who have both run high profile campaigns in a bid to encourage parents to park safely, have welcomed the crackdown.

The startling image of pupils pictured lying on the zig-zag lines outside Wellfield Primary School was intended to drive home the message to par safely.

The startling image of pupils pictured lying on the zig-zag lines outside Wellfield Primary School was intended to drive home the message to par safely.

Mrs Helen Kershaw who is headteacher at Whittlefield Primary said safeguarding of the children was her "number one" priority and she welcomed any support from the county to enforce parking restrictions and keep the children safe.

She said: "Despite many reminders on newsletters and higher profile events to raise awareness some parents still insist on parking in restricted zones which places children's lives in danger."

In May teachers and children were so fed up of motorists parking irresponsibly they held a protest march and pupils even made banners which they posed with outside the school in Tabor Street during the morning and afternoon school run.

All Burnley's county council run schools can expect to be visited by parking wardens in the current academic year, as part of a crackdown on parents, guardians and anyone else who stop on zig-zag lines outside school gates.

The plan was revealed at a meeting at Lancashire County Council were panel members were also told which parking perils could – and could not – be tackled by the authority’s attendants.

The “flying squad” will be visiting problem parking areas where restrictions might previously have gone unenforced.

But Peter Bell, the county’s highway regulation enforcement manager, said his priority was “keeping the roads clear” not issuing tickets.

He said: “If there’s somebody in the car, the first thing we will do is try to move them on.

“But if they refuse to move, we have no choice but to issue them with a ticket.”

The issue was dramatically highlighted at Wellfield Primary School when children were pictured lying down on the zig-zag markings outside the school and headteacher Mrs Janet Pay said the school had worked "tirelessly" to combat the problem.

Measures brought in at the school in Wellfield Drive include having banners printed appealing for drivers to park safely and introducing a "kiss and drop" scheme where parents can pull in close to school and have their child walked round to the entrance which ensures traffic keeps flowing.

Mrs Pay said: "We have worked hard to combat difficult parking around school which causes problems for the majority of our parents who do park considerately, and have the safety and welfare of our children at heart.

"There are a small minority of individuals in the area, some of whom are parents, who don’t think through where they park, park on pavements and reverse off when children are passing, stop on the zig-zags, obstruct the entrance and make it difficulty by parking on double yellow lines or by junctions."

Welcoming news that wardens are being appointed to help the school enforce parking rules Mrs Pay added: " As a school we do our best, but our core business is education and we welcome the support of the council in matters of safe and sensible parking to keep our school family running smoothly."

Surprisingly some schools across the county are not as enthusiastic about the scheme and at one school teachers approached wardens to ask why they were "picking on" parents.

At the schools targeted between January and July this year 76 tickets were issued and 26 vehicles moved on.

In future visits to schools across Burnley and the rest of the county other parking restrictions in the vicinity of zig-zag lines will be also be enforced.

Mr. Bell has appealed for feedback from schools, so that those with the biggest problem could get repeat visits later in the year.