Hastings councillor and schoolchildren hand in petition to county council

Cllr Batsford with pupils from St Paul's and Blacklands
Cllr Batsford with pupils from St Paul's and Blacklands

A borough councillor and pupils from two schools took their traffic safety campaign to the doors of County Hall this week, handing in a petition containing more than 1,000 parents’, pupils’ and residents’ signatures.

Cllr Andy Batsford and children from St Paul’s Church of England Academy and Ark Blacklands Academy held a banner outside the county council’s HQ in Lewes before delivering the petition.

The campaign is asking for traffic enforcement officers to prioritise patrolling outside primary schools in the morning during term-time, as part of a clampdown on inconsiderate and dangerous parking.

It stepped up a gear yesterday (Tuesday, February 7) with the handing in of the petition signed by pupils and parents across the town.

Cllr Batsford said: “I was so proud to have pupils of Ark Blacklands and St Paul’s with me yesterday in Lewes to see democracy in action and also to make a strong visual demonstration of what the campaign is all about, the safety of our children outside our primary schools.”

The St Helens ward councillor added his campaign has already provided some positive outcomes, with the county council considering instant fines for those parking on zig zag lines outside schools with the penalty notice being delivered to the car owner’s home, rather than issued on the spot.

Cllr Batsford said: “We are asking for no more money, no more resources, just to pilot a new rota for a whole school term to see its effects, not only outside the schools but to make sure it doesn’t impact on town traffic during that time.

“The parents, schools and pupils have made their views very clear they want to see this happen. I hope to see the county councillors and officers moving to make this pilot scheme happen very soon and I believe see a massive change to car drivers’ behaviour outside our primary schools.

East Sussex County Council said its civil enforcement officers regularly patrol outside schools where restrictions are in place, issued 88 penalty charge notices and moved on more than 700 motorists from outside schools in 2016.

A county council spokesman said focusing solely on schools would result in resources being diverted away from other areas.

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