If you’ve diligently parked your car away from the yellow zigzag lines and then fumed to see someone parked right outside the school, then this one’s for you… teachers and parent volunteers at a primary school in Essex have been given the power to issue parking tickets to anyone parking illegally near the school gates.
Yes, real actual parking tickets that mean fines for anyone that finds one triumphantly tucked in their windscreen wipers.
The scheme has been launched by Thurrock council at Tilbury Pioneer Academy to make school drop-off and pick-up times safer. But if it’s successful, could be rolled out across the Essex town.
“It seemed a sensible idea that people already associated with the schools – a parent or teachers who often already stand outside the gates checking on children’s safety – were able to have some official status backed up by the final sanction of issuing a ticket,” John Kent, leader of Thurrock council told Your Thurrock. He said the council regularly gets complaints about “irresponsible and thoughtless” parking at schools. “We have ever-decreasing resources to enforce parking laws across the borough… let alone outside more than 50 schools,” he added.
Issuing a ticket will be the last resort with volunteers talking to parents who fall foul of the rules first.
The teacher and parent volunteers were given a week’s training for their new roles, followed by a month working with council civil enforcement officers and will wear a uniform while on duty. John Kent says the sight of a uniform has already had a “miraculous effect” on parking.
But Jerry Glazier, national executive member of the National Union of Teachers in Essex says policing parking shouldn’t fall down to teachers. “Teachers are there to teach and maintain positive relations with parents and I’m pretty certain most teachers would not want to put themselves into situations of potential conflict,” he said.
And parents have their reservations too. “It’s ridiculous. I could understand if the children were teenagers and were trusted enough to walk or get a bus, but this isn’t the case here,” a mum-of-2 told the Daily Mail. These are primary school children. I have to drop my little girl off at the gates, because I can’t just let her walk half a mile on her own. The thought of getting teachers out as traffic wardens is stupid.”
Do you think parking tickets are the way forward? Let us know in the comments below.