Drivers ‘putting lives of children at risk’ by bad parking near Hastings schools

Michael Wincott has raised the issue of bad parking outside Hastings primary schools
Michael Wincott has raised the issue of bad parking outside Hastings primary schools

Drivers are ‘putting the lives of children at risk’ by bad parking near primary schools, a Hastings councillor has suggested.

Michael Wincott, a Hastings borough and East Sussex county councillor, asked if the lead member would take action by instructing all weekday parking enforcement officers to refocus entirely on preventing this ‘irresponsible’ parking outside school gates each morning and afternoon.

Although recognising targeting was already going on, he said there were some schools in the Hastings area that had never seen officers in the past two years at a meeting on Tuesday (July 12).

Cllr Wincott said: “Some drivers are putting the lives of primary school children at risk by parking on zig-zag and double yellow lines with some also choosing to park on pavements.”

Carl Maynard (Con, Brede Valley and Marsham), lead member for transport and environment at ESCC, replied: “Already the respective parking teams in the respective areas do focus on the problems of irresponsible parking around schools on the basis of a rota going around those schools.

“There’s effective targeting of those schools where we know that there is a historic problem.

“I think frankly schools could do more to be quite stern with parents, because we know historically it’s parents that are being very slapdash in the way that they are dropping off children to school by parking on zig-zags, they are putting other children’s lives at risk by doing so and I think there is more the schools could do to actually send out letters, stern letters they should be to parents of pupils reminding them of their responsibilities as responsible motorists and responsible parents.”

He said if Cllr Wincott knew of problems at particular schools he could flag it up with officers.

Cllr Wincott replied: “We do recognise that targeting is going on at the moment, but I know of some schools in the Hastings area and it’s not specific about my division as I have spoken to lots of councillors that have never seen parking enforcement officers in the past two years so it’s almost like there’s a free-for-all at those schools and there’s no accidents perhaps and that’s why you’re not targeting them but I just think it would send a brilliant message to the people of East Sussex if every school we guarantee at least once during the school term that we call outside their gates and prevent people from parking on the zig-zag lines.

“Shouldn’t we focus on all schools apart from the select few?”

Cllr Maynard added: “As I’ve already said we have to focus on schools where we know there is an ongoing problem. I think to roll it out across all schools we have to be mindful of the resource that is present.

“However that said, as I’ve already said the offer to Councillor Wincott is that if he knows schools where there is as he put it a ‘free-for-all’ where there are motorists that are regularly offending let us know where they are, let us know even if they are not in his division and we will take that on board in organising an approach.”

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