Parents can learn parking lessons - Peterborough City Council leader John Holdich

A car parked in the middle of the road outside Queens Drive Infant School
A car parked in the middle of the road outside Queens Drive Infant School
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From time to time you get a news story that gets people hot under the collar.

It seems last week’s plea from the council for more considerate parking during the school run was one of those stories.

Articles on the PT online and posted on our own social media pages led to streams of comments from people lamenting the chaos which ensues outside many of our schools at either the start or end of each school day.

Some blamed the parents for inconsiderate and dangerous parking, others said it was ruining the area they live in and a good few reminisced on having to walk miles to school when they were a child. The fact is that we all lead busy lives and often the temptation to take an easier option to save a few minutes here and there is hard to resist. This should never be the case however when it comes to the issue of road safety and children’s lives. The long and short of it is that parents who park in restricted areas outside schools are putting the safety of children at risk.

The vast majority of parents park responsibly, but unfortunately there is a small minority that don’t and instead cause chaos by parking their car wherever they choose. This is becoming increasingly commonplace at schools across Peterborough and there is absolutely no excuse at all for parking illegally or driving erratically outside schools as it endangers children’s lives.

Indeed, Government statistics show that the majority of child road casualties occur during the school run. Many of us will have seen drivers parking up on pavements, or over double lines, across zig zag lines and even blocking driveways.

We understand that many parents have to take their children to school in the car, but there are a range of options available to parents when taking their children to school which do not involve parking illegally and endangering other children’s lives.

Our Road Safety and Prevention and Enforcement Service teams work closely with schools so they can provide parents who travel to school with their children with all the necessary information so that they can plan their journey and arrive safely and in good time.

The main aim is to reduce accidents and disruption around our schools and improve the traffic flow during the school rush hours because that benefits children, parents and those people travelling to and from work.

This often involves highlighting areas in short walking distance from the school where they can safely park.

However, there are occasions where parents continue to park irresponsibly and our Prevention and Enforcement Service officers issued around 200 penalty charge notices to drivers parked outside schools in the last ten months. It’s time this figure was reduced.

I’d like to say a big well done to everyone at City College Peterborough on their recent Ofsted inspection. Inspectors found that the college ‘continues to be good’. I have been a governor at the college for more than 30 years and have seen it grow in that time, benefitting thousands of residents. The college works with a large number of people and organisations every year to support them to achieve their goals, whether it’s progressing in a chosen career, getting a foot on the career ladder or embracing a new hobby.

The report is a true testament to the dedication and hard work of the staff and it is good to see that Ofsted have recognised the strengths and skills of the teaching staff.

If you enjoy watching the Proms on television and wish you could be in the audience, tickets are available for the next best thing.

The Mayor of Peterborough will host a Last Night of the Proms concert at Peterborough Cathedral on Saturday, March 11, at 7.30pm. A rousing collection of music will be performed by The Band of the Royal Anglian Regiment. Tickets cost £15, or £10 for under 16s. The evening will raise money for the Mayor’s charities and tickets are available from Peterborough Visitor Information Centre or online from www.ticketsource.co.uk/mayorofpeterboroughcharityfund