Sheffield council ‘too slow’ on safety

'Keep Clear' road sign outside Hunters Bar School, Sheffield
'Keep Clear' road sign outside Hunters Bar School, Sheffield
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Legal powers to tackle dangerous parking have been completed at just 34 of 179 schools – a year after Sheffield Council pledged to crack down.

Last summer, Sheffield Council said it would make yellow ‘keep clear’ markings enforceable on roads outside all schools.

The commitment came after The Star revealed legal orders for the lines – which give officials the power to fine motorists parking on them – had only been completed at 19 schools.

People could park without fear of being fined at 160 other sites.

Now figures have revealed legal orders have only been passed for a further 15 schools in the last 12 months.

Council cabinet member for development Coun Leigh Bramall said last summer it would take three years to pass orders for all schools.

But at the current rate, just 45 orders would be completed, leaving 115 ‘keep clear’ markings which would still be unenforceable.

Opposition Lib Dem councillors have criticised the Labour-run council for being too slow to take action.

Coun Ian Auckland, Liberal Democrat transport spokesman, said: “Last year strong pressure from parents, teachers and The Star newspaper, forced the council to rethink its priorities and promise strong action against dangerous parking outside our schools.

“However, one year into the three-year programme, the council still only has the legal power to act at fewer than one in five schools.

“With children now heading back to school, it’s clear that progress has been painfully slow and parents and teachers remain worried about accidents waiting to happen.”

Legal orders cost around £3,000 each – and Sheffield Council only had £30,000 to set aside for work in the 2012-13 financial year.

Sheffield Council has said it was planning to deal with a number of schools under a single order to make savings.

Coun Leigh Bramall said: “The aim is to make all the markings enforceable within two to three years.

“I am supportive of improving road safety around schools and The Star’s It’s Your Child campaign which aims to ensure parents are parking responsibly.”

The council says it is struggling to find funding when its budget faces cuts as a result of the coalition Government’s austerity drive.

The council is prioritising yellow lines outside schools which suffer the most from parking problems.

Funding for making more keep clear markings enforceable in the 2013/14 financial year has not been revealed.