Wardens on lookout for yellow perils at schools
WEST Lancashire schools will be visited by parking wardens in a crackdown on people who stop on zigzag lines outside school gates.
The plan was revealed at a Lancashire County Council meeting where councillors were also told which parking problems could be tackled by the authority’s attendants.
And members heard that a “flying squad” is now visiting problem parking areas where restrictions might previously have gone unenforced.
But Peter Bell, the county’s highway regulation enforcement manager, said that his priority was “keeping the roads clear”, not issuing tickets.
The council is responsible for on-street parking enforcement in all areas of Lancashire except Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen.
“If there’s somebody in the car, the first thing we will do is try to move them on,” said Mr Bell.
“But if they refuse to move, we have no choice but to issue them with a ticket.”
The county’s schools were asked whether they would like wardens to visit to prevent parking on zigzag lines outside their gates – but fewer than a third said they would.
Those schools were targeted between January and July this year, when 76 tickets were issued.
The council has now taken the matter into its own hands and plans to visit all schools with parking restrictions in the next 12 months.
But it is not necessarily proving a popular policy.
Mr Bell told councillors: “At one of the schools we visited, where parents were parked on zigzags, what did we get? The teachers coming out and saying to us, ‘Why are you picking on our parents?’ It’s a difficult situation.”
Other parking restrictions in the vicinity of zigzag lines will also be enforced.
In the first two weeks of the new scheme, 26 vehicles have been moved on.
And Mr Bell appealed for feedback from schools, so that those with the biggest problem could get repeat visits.
Mr Bell admitted that the council had “got in a rut” by patrolling the same areas day in, day out.
That had allowed hotspots to develop elsewhere, which were attracting complaints from residents.
Attendants are more responsive – “almost like a flying squad” – according to Mr Bell.
“We visit, people see us and compliance then goes up,” he said.
“It’s not about being there once a day, but being visible enough to actually educate people that, at any time, we could be there.”
In August, 152 targeted visits generated 37 parking tickets – and 116 vehicles were moved on.