EDINBURGH is planning Scotland’s biggest crackdown yet on school run drivers – as new pictures show the mayhem caused by selfish parents.
The city council plans to follow the scheme adopted by the town of Haddington, East Lothian, which saw roads around primary schools closed to all vehicles except local residents’ and blue badge holders.
Five Edinburgh schools will be subject to school run bans for 30 minutes in the morning and the afternoon, under the proposed safety scheme.
Pictures taken outside the city’s Bruntsfield Primary show a large 4×4 vehicle struggling to turn in a narrow street outside the school gates, and a station wagon reversing onto a pavement – missing children and buggies.
Sara Dorman posted the pictures on her blog, which were then picked up by the website Edinburgh’s Worst Drivers.
She wrote: “Today, I was HelmetcamMom, and I took pictures.
“Of the 4×4 above that was too big to turn, and the driver below who thought reversing onto a pavement that was full of kids and buggies was a good idea.
“I’ve cropped the pictures to hide the kids, but it was thronged, or would have been if they’d not all been standing still waiting for him to complete his manoeuvre.”
Another parent, who did not wish to be named, posted a picture of several cars including a Mercedes blocking the street outside the school as a girl on a bike waits to pull out.
The parent said: “What you have in this picture is 6 parents picking up their children from outside the gates of the school and blocking the whole street in the process, while kids from primary and secondary pile out of the schools and across the road.”
The school is nearby Boroughmuir High School, adding to the congestion in the area during pick-up and drop-off times.
Haddington’s ban means drivers are hit with a £50 fine if they drive within certain streets around primary schools in the area.
Edinburgh council is still discussing how the scheme will be enforced and what penalties will be in place for those who flout the ban.
The city’s transport leader Lesley Hinds said on Twitter: “It was agreed school pilot schemes similar to East Lothian would be implemented.”
She added: “We will be asking for schools to volunteer and also assess the suitability of the area for the pilot.”
The council’s local transport strategy said the proposed ban would focus on the “immediate neighbourhood” of schools.
It said: “Trips to school made by car often cause significant localised congestion and parking problems around school gates at the beginning and end of the school day.
“The environment created feels unsafe for parents and children alike.
“In some cities, suitable streets in the immediate neighbourhood of schools are closed for short periods of around 20 to 30 minutes at school start and finish times to create a safer, more pleasant environment for children immediately around the school.
“The aim of such “school street” closures is to create a much more pleasant and safer environment that encourages travel to school by foot and by bike.
“The Council will initially pilot this approach at up to five schools where School Councils request it.”
The road closures may be “extended more widely” if the trials are successful.
The council document continued: “At each site there may be issues concerning enforcement, or access for residents and service vehicles, and these will be addressed in discussion with residents, the School, and Police Scotland.”