The number of parking tickets issued on safety Zig-Zag lines outside Bradford schools has increased five-fold in the past two years as Bradford Council aims to “reinforce the safety message” to parents.
According to figures released today, just 32 tickets were given out to motorists across the district’s 215 schools in 2011, but this figure rose sharply to 137 in 2012, and again to 209 last year, an increase of 553 per cent.
The figures, gained via a Freedom of Information Request, form part of the AXA Car Insurance RoadSafe Schools campaign, which found that the number of fixed penalty charge notices given across the UK rose from 14,564 in 2011 to 28,169 in 2013, an increase of 93 per cent.
All figures relate to penalty charge notices given for the violation of contravention code 48, described as parking in restricted areas outside a school, areas where waiting, stopping and dropping off are not permitted.
Councillor Val Slater, Bradford Council’s executive member for housing, planning and transport, said parking in restricted areas was a problem affecting many of the district’s schools.
“The concerns are that this kind of parking is inconsiderate, and it is often parents who risk putting their children in danger,” she said.
“Issuing tickets, often after a concerted period of activity at the school, reinforces the safety message.
“These lines are there for a purpose. They are not there to inconvenience people, they are there to keep children safe.”
Trevor Patterson, head teacher at the 420-pupil Blakehill Primary School in Idle, was forced to call police last year after neighbours complained about parking in streets around the school.
“It’s an ongoing problem,” he said. “By and large parents are alright, but you do get a small minority that spoil it.
“On occasions, officers will do a sweep and issue the penalty notices, and that does seem to improve things. But after a period of time, the problem comes back.
“We try to advocate parents, wherever possible, to walk their children to school, but I understand that is very difficult for some working parents.
“I welcome the wardens giving out the notices, it helps remind people, but it’s only part of an ongoing education for parents.”
Bryan Richardson, 75, who collects his grandson from the school, said he had to arrive an hour before the end of the school day to make sure he gets an appropriate parking spot.
“I have seen police about, and I don’t want a ticket, so waiting for an hour is the lesser of two evils.” he said.
“The tickets have definitely had an effect, people know about them and behave themselves more now.”
A parent with two children at the school, who did not wish to be named, said: “There are usually PCSOs coming up and down here, which does help. The school is proactive and gives out letters as well, which is good, but some people listen and some people don’t.”
Another parent said: “People often just quickly park on the lines to drop kids off, particularly if they are late on a morning. I used to do it myself, there’s just nowhere else to go.”
Chief Inspector Damien Miller, of Bradford Police (Neighbourhoods), said: “Although West Yorkshire Police is not the lead agency for enforcing parking regulations we recognise the inconvenience inconsiderate parking can lead to.
“If people tell us about a parking problem, we will look to work with partners to improve the situation and will, where necessary, take enforcement action against those breaking the rules.
“Motorists can be fined or taken to court.”