Hastings parents and children’s campaign against dangerous parking

Cllr Andy Batsford and Cllr James Bacon outside Blacklands Academy with members of the school council petitioning against dangerous parking. SUS-161130-092319001
Cllr Andy Batsford and Cllr James Bacon outside Blacklands Academy with members of the school council petitioning against dangerous parking. SUS-161130-092319001

Hundreds of parents and children have signed petitions calling for a clampdown on inconsiderate and dangerous parking outside schools.

Last Wednesday (November 30), a campaign was held outside schools across town, starting at Ark Blacklands Academy with parents signing petitions and pupils having their voices heard by signing a children’s petition.

The campaign, led by borough councillor Andy Batsford, is calling for all traffic enforcement officers to be placed outside primary schools on a random rota for the first 45 minutes in the morning during term time.

More than 300 parents and 1,500 children have signed petitions.

Cllr Batsford, together with Cllr James Bacon and Cllr Nigel Sinden, joined headteachers, concerned parents and hundreds of children on the day of action.

Cllr Batsford said: “I’m proud to lead councillors from across the political spectrum who are coming together to demand a re-focus and insist the priorities of the traffic enforcement officers are on making the journey to school safe for the children of Hastings. We feel the children’s voices were not being listened to and, after all, they are our most precious residents.”

Cllr Bacon said: “Children deserve representation and this day of action was a bold message to the county council that the safety of our roads and lives of our young people are important and must be addressed before an accident or tragedy occurs.”

Cllr Batsford said the campaign’s first victory came on Friday (December 2) when members of the council’s parking board meeting agreed to ask for instant fines to be issued outside schools if drivers park on double yellow lines or on zig zags rather than being moved on. “This we hope will send a strong message to drivers who put our children’s safety at risk that this is issue is one we feel should have zero tolerance,” he added.

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

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

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