School run ban means children like my daughter are no longer put at risk...
Safety campaigner mum of tragic Hope Fennell, 13, backs plans to block drivers
THE mother of a young girl killed by a lorry as she made her way home from school has welcomed a ban on school run parents driving and parking in streets around classes.
Launched by Solihull Council, the pilot scheme will see motorists fined if they drive around schools in the area.
The move has been praised by Nazan Fennell, whose daughter Hope died after being hit by an 18- tonne lorry as she crossed Kings Heath’s High Street in November 2011.
The accident happened less than a mile from where the 13- year- old studied at Queensbridge School.
Nazan, who has spent years campaigning for road safety improvements since the tragedy, hopes the new scheme will be extended throughout Birmingham and the rest of the country.
“I was really happy to wake up to the news,” she said.
“When parents park around schools, there’s no room and they go over the pavements.
“Even the yellow lines are all blocked outside schools.
“What I’m hoping to see is that it goes really quickly around Birmingham and UK schools, that it changes the behaviour of people around schools and that it raises awareness about children’s needs to be safe around school.”
Haslucks Green Junior School, Marston Green Infant Academy and Oak Cottage Primary School have signed up to the scheme after nearby homeowners raised concerns about safety and inconsiderate parking. Residents will be issued with permits to access the roads and emergency services will be exempt from the ban, while a new 20mph limit will also be introduced in surrounding areas. The scheme, which has previously been trialled in Edinburgh, will run for an initial trial period of up to 18 months and began on Monday. Nazan won a Guardian Angel Award from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents in recognition of her safety campaign. She has previously called for sensors to be fitted to blind spots on HGVs, as well as campaigning for changes to crossings, includ- ing the spot where her daughter died.
“No child should die on their way to school or back home,” she said. “The council is encouraging walking and cycling so we need to make pavements safer for children to walk and cycle, with some enforcement from West Midlands Police.
“I’m so happy to think that such a move is going to give our kids a little more space, and it’s good for health with less pollution.”
Lorry driver Darren Foster was jailed for six months in 2013 for the crash which killed Hope. He had been texting his girlfriend minutes before the accident.
He admitted charges of dangerous driving and perverting the course of justice after deleting the texts from his phone shortly after the collision.
A child’s bike has been chained to the spot where Hope died since the tragedy.
Nazan Fennell and, inset below, daughter Hope