Council move to introduce stricter measures for school parking

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“SELFISH” parents who cause traffic chaos when dropping off children outside a top private school should be fined, an angry councillor has demanded.

Fife council has moved to deal with traffic chaos outside St Leonards School in St Andrews by introducing a one-way system and new double yellow lines.

But councillor Maggie Taylor has argued traffic wardens should be sent in instead to patrol the narrow streets outside the school, which charges up to £27,000 a year.

A council committee was told vehicles are weaving dangerously past parked cars and pedestrians while schoolchildren are leaving their parents cars, and and congestion has infuriated residents.

The calls come as local authorities across the country deal with parents whose school-run driving puts children and other motorists at risk.

Last year East Lothian council announced it would become the first in the UK to ban the school run by stopping parents driving certain streets in Haddington during pick-up and drop-off times.

Fife council’s north-east area committee voted on £12,000 of measures to tackle the issue outside the school, which began in the 19th Century.

But councillor Margaret Taylor said since the local authority was taking over parking enforcement next month, its wardens should be sent in to fine motorists.

She said: “The only time it’s congested is when parents are dropping off and picking up.

“They ignor the restrictions in place at present, so  fail to see what difference double yellow lines will make.

“Why don’t we make this the first job for the new Fife Council parking wardens?”

She said parking fines would be a better deterrent for “selfish” parking, and added: “The £12,000 would be better spent elsewhere, ie filling in potholes.”

Local residents collected more than 70 signatures on a petition, saying the one-way system would only encourage drivers to go faster.

Greg Fraser, who lives in nearby Shorehead, said: “The only issue is parents parking in The Pends.

“If they park on the single yellow lines, they will park on the double yellow lines.”

Council technician engineer told the committee the new double yellow lines would remove ambiguity about the existing single yellow lines.

St Leonards headmaster Dr Michael Carslaw said the council’s measures would cut down on congestion on a nearby street.

He said: “We hope these measures – which the council is implementing after considering the views of many individuals and local householders – will help to alleviate congestion on The Pends and safeguard the safety of all road users.

“The school regularly asks parents to use The Pends with consideration for other road users and we will continue to do this.”

Across Scotland, tensions have mounted in recent years as residents and parents on the school run clash over parking spaces.

In November last year East Lothian council said it believed it was the first local authority anywhere in the UK to take the controversial step.

Parents’ groups praised the council’s “brave” decision, saying it was a serious issue, though the AA warned the ban could just move the problem elsewhere.

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