War­dens on look­out for yel­low per­ils at schools

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Front Page - BY PAUL FAULKNER news­desk@os­ad­ver­tiser.co.uk @SeftonE­cho

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.

War­dens will be look­ing for drivers who park on school zig-zag lines

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