Thousands of fines issued in as Sheffield Council continues crackdown on drivers endangering city's schoolchildren

Traffic and parking around Hillsborough Primary School
Traffic and parking around Hillsborough Primary School
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Sheffield Council is cracking down on illegal and dangerous parking outside schools after handing out thousands of fines to drivers in just over year.

The authority issued 2,842 fines in 2016 - the most in Yorkshire - for parking in restricted areas outside schools, including on keep clear markings or yellow lines near entrance gates.

Parents form a human barrier on Argyl Close outside Carfield Primary School

Parents form a human barrier on Argyl Close outside Carfield Primary School

And the crackdown looks set to continue - with the 297 fines issued in January and February this year leaping to 841 by the end of March.

Drivers in the city were charged for a catalogue of parking failures near schools, including parking on a pedestrian crossing - 24 motorists were guilty of that last year - and parking on double and single yellow lines, which saw 1,222 drivers break the rules in 2016.

Sheffield Council revealed in January how 113 primary school aged children had been injured - 32 seriously - in crashes across the city occurring at school pick-up and drop off times over the last five years.

Coun Jack Scott, cabinet member for transport and infrastructure at Sheffield Council, said: “The safety of our children is an absolute priority, which is why we take such strong action on illegal and dangerous parking outside schools. I’m pleased that today’s figures show we are taking the toughest action of any council in Yorkshire.

“We have been proactive and rolled out restrictions at schools all across Sheffield. This programme is due to be complete in 2018. This will make sure that locations close to school entrances can be kept clear of parked cars and includes signs to inform drivers where and when they cannot stop.

“I know that parents and carers often have little time to spare when it comes to dropping off and collecting their children, but anyone who flouts the rules outside schools will face penalties. These measures are designed to keep children safe.

“I’d ask all families, if they have got to drive to school, to make sure they always park safely away from the school gate and follow the local parking restrictions. I won’t hesitate to take further action where there are problems that are endangering our children and young people.”

The authority recently teamed up with South Yorkshire Police for a crackdown on dangerous parking outside schools.

Police and council enforcement officers spent six weeks targeting drivers who illegally park on double yellow lines and keep clear’ signs close to schools.

This week police are carrying out additional patrols outside schools and where necessary warning notices will be issued.

It comes after a row erupted after Firth Park Academy, in Shiregreen, changed the location of its main entrance, with furious neighbours accusing it of putting people’s safety at risk.

Pupils used to be able to choose from three entrances but are now restricted to just one in Bellhouse Road.

The school claims this will improve students’ behaviour and make them safer, by allowing staff to better monitor them as they arrive and leave, but residents say the decision, which took effect on July 10, has caused huge congestion on what is already a busy road, with the daily snarl-ups leading to a surge in reckless driving.

In February, police were called to Carfield Primary School, in Meersbrook, when tempers flared over a demonstration staged by parents.

They were protesting against parents driving up Argyle Close - a cul-de-sac with terraced houses on one side - to drop their children outside the school gates.

The figures also revealed that five fines were handed out in Doncaster in 2016 for parking infringements outside schools and 12 between January and March, this year.

In Rotherham, 304 fines were issued in 2016 and 46 in the first three months of this year and in Barnsley 131 were doled out in 2016 and 62 during the start of 2017.