Report and appendix attached.
The Interim Parking Manager explained most parking issues related to primary schools in Havering. Some 70% of primary school children in Havering went to school by vehicle and one quarter of all morning journeys were for the school run. This led to higher levels of childhood obesity and higher numbers of children being injured on roads. Higher levels of pollution were also an issue.
These issues had been addressed at four schools by the introduction of Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) whereby failure to pay parking penalties applied would result in a criminal record. Havering was the only Council in the UK to use PSPOs to address school parking. There was no appeal process for PSPO fines and any representations could only be made as an interview under caution.
Another measure used was School Streets where funding was received to prohibit any vehicles at a school location at drop-off and pick-up times. Residents or deliveries etc were exempted. Failure to comply was dealt with as a civil offence and hence the scheme required fewer resources to implement.
Controlled parking zones (CPZs) could be introduced if there was demand from local residents. This meant parking on a road near a school wax only permissible with a permit. Blue badge holders were also allowed to park within a CPZ. Officers were trying to move away from the use of single yellow lines as these also prevented residents from parking.
There was no cap on the number of permits that could be purchased in Havering but few households in fact had more than two permits. Additional permits, specific to a particular vehicle, required a proof of address to be shown in order to obtain them. CPZs could be requested via a petition or by residents speaking to their ward Councillors. Officers would usually consider the introduction of a CPZ if more than 50% of residents supported this.
Support measures to reduce school parking included school crossing patrols and the introduction pedestrian refuges, speed humps or 20 mph zones. Park and stride and walking bus schemes also served to reduce the amount of parking issues near schools.
Reduced parking by schools had a number of benefits including lower pollution more exercise for children, a safer environment and improved academic performance due to children undertaking more physical activity.
Members felt that the Council should have a more proactive policy on schools parking, It was felt that enforcement by both traffic wardens and cameras should be increased. It was noted that parking on someone’s else’s drive was illegal and should be reported to the Police. An obstructed driveway should be reported to the Council. There only a very small number of private disabled parking bays in Havering. Another car parked in any of these bays would receive a parking ticket if the bay was on a public highway.
Members also felt that schools should be more proactive in dealing with parking issues and that it was important for example for schools to have their own fully developed travel plans. The Sub-Committee also agreed that school keep clear areas should be enforced by fixed cameras where possible. Officers added that cameras could be concentrated on specific locations until parking compliance was taking place. It was also suggested that display units showing car registration numbers could be used more for enforcement of school parking.
Members also felt that the use of air pollution monitors near schools should be encouraged and officers would check it was possible to also locate monitors inside schools. It was also noted that the choice of 20 mph zones and whether these should be located outside schools was a matter for the Highways Advisory Committee.
The Sub-Committee agreed that the Council should seek, subject to the standard decision making processes, to adopt a policy and strategy for school parking issues.