Sheffield’s school parking legal shock

Parking Outside Charnock Hall School
Parking Outside Charnock Hall School
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IT COULD take as long as a decade, and cost as much as £300,000, before all of Sheffield’s ‘Keep Clear’ yellow lines around schools can be legally enforced.

Council chiefs have revealed markings at only 19 of 173 schools are currently legally enforceable - meaning drivers can ignore them at the 154 others without fear of a parking ticket.

Passing legal paperwork to make the restrictions valid would cost between £1,000 and £2,000 per school.

The council has only £20,000 available to spend rectifying the problem this year - money Coun Bramall said could cover only ‘between 10 and 20 schools’.

And work has not yet started creating any of the traffic regulation orders - three months since the problem was highlighted by The Star.

The Star’s It’s Your Child campaign is urging parents on the school-run to drive and park more responsibly.

Coun Leigh Bramall, cabinet member for transport, said the lack of enforcement progress is because the council wants to combine traffic regulation orders with eventual implementation of 20mph zones in residential areas.

He said: “We have allocated £20,000 this financial year to implement new orders to cover ‘Keep Clear’ signs around schools.

“We are planning to use this year’s allocation to implement the orders at schools that will fall within the 20mph zones, which each Community Assembly will be designating.

“This makes sense as it will support the initial aims of 20mph zones to make the areas around schools safer.”

Schools say the orders must be enforced, with the resources to back them up, to ensure they have an effect.

Deb Halliday, headteacher at Athelstan Primary on Richmond Park Way, said governors worked with council officials to bring a traffic regulation order to lines painted outside her school this academic year.

“But it’s a question of having the resources to enforce it, and even then I don’t think people pay attention,” she said. “People are still stopping and dropping off on the lines all the time.”

And Sarah Scarborough, head of Charnock Primary School in Carter Hall Road, said: “We’ve had PCSOs and council officers out to the school, but once the person in the high visibility jacket has gone drivers still park in unsafe spaces again.

“I don’t know what the solution is - I fear we will have to see an accident before anyone takes any notice.”

Coun Bramall added: “Officers have been working with each of our seven community assemblies since April to identify their preferred zone for a 20mph scheme - a process that should be coming to a conclusion this summer.

“Once each zone has been identified, we plan to implement the orders for ‘Keep Clear’ markings.

“Some zones will have more than one school and, where possible, we will try to incorporate surrounding schools that may fall outside a 20mph zone within the same order, if finances allow.

“Orders have to be advertised, with a time period for objections to be made and heard, but we hope to have them operational by the end of the year.”

South Yorkshire Police launched the It’s Your Child campaign in June in a bid to improve road safety outside schools. Using funding from the local Road Safety Partnership, grants of £2,000 will be awarded to schools in the Gleadless Valley, Woodseats, Lowedges, Nether Edge, Jordanthorpe, Heeley, Meersbrook , Beauchief and Greenhill areas of Sheffield with a view to rolling out the project across the whole of the region.