Scottish council proposes school run car ban

12.00 | 19 November 2012 | | 6 comments

A ban on cars is being proposed in streets around schools in an East Lothian town in a bid to stop dangerous driving by parents dropping off their children (BBC News).

East Lothian Council wants to introduce pedestrian zones around schools in Haddington following complaints about inconsiderate parking and dangerous manoeuvres. It is thought this could be the first time such measures will have been implemented in Scotland.

Under the proposals, cars would be banned from the streets between 08.30 and 09:30 on weekdays. Between Mondays and Thursday, the ban would also be in force between 15:00 and 16:00, while on Fridays it would be from 11:45 until 12:45. The plans would be implemented in an 18-month trial basis.

Michael Veitch, East Lothian Council’s transportation spokesman, said: “We are aware of problems caused by careless drivers dropping off or collecting their children at school.

“The streets in the proposed area are cul-de-sacs which have restricted space for vehicle manoeuvres. The council believes this measure will greatly reduce potential dangers to young children and families.”

Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, said the exclusion zone seemed like “a rather draconian measure to crack a fairly small problem”.

He added: “School-gate parking is an issue obviously, but it is usually just busy once or twice a day, and the rest of the day and most weekends it is quiet.

“I think most issues are actually about dealing with local residents, it’s about congestion, it’s about damage to the pavement, it’s about the perception that there’s a safety problem there.

“In actual fact there are very few accidents involving children or pedestrians or cyclists at school gates – they are a very safe area to be in.”

Click here to read the full BBC report.


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    Mr Greig there is nothing draconian about what’s happening in East Lothian, and as you don’t live here and obviously don’t know first hand the problems these lazy parents cause with their desire to take their children as close to school as they can, and by the way there has been accidents in the past with cars turning or reversing in the streets named, it’s a thumbs up for this scheme from the vast majority of Haddington’s parents that use these roads for taking their children to school. The only complainers will be the car brigade that can’t go anywhere without a car.

    Mr Stuart Fraser Haddington,East Lothian.
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    As part of my job, parking, congestion, speeding, obstruction, are some of the major complaints/concerns I have to deal with . We have tried various engineering, education, enforcement means but there is a limit to what can be done in the days when there are so much budget and resource constaints. At the end of the day parents need to take the responsibility, and the schools should fully utilise their School Travel Plans and I feel it should become one of the criteria for admissions policy. The problem has increased so much more under the Parental choice and a more popular school will always have a bigger problem.

    Jay Shah – Northampton.
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Simple, police need to randomly survey the area but on a regular basis, not once or twice a year, booking all that either show bad driving skills or commit an offence like parking on the crossing.

    Once booked, name and shame these people by inviting them into the school to tell all at an assembly why they did this and get the children and teachers to grill them on how safe do you think you made the area. Ask if anything had happened to any of the children from the school due to their action what would you say to the parents?

    Sometimes these people need to see both sides, as they often feel it will be ok as they are superior drivers, I think not committing offences like this though.

    Anthony, Cardiff
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Adding to my previous response I have to add that just 100 yards down the road and on the same side of the school there is a public baths/gym and at those peak times the car park, which is massive, is only about 20% full.

    Seems to me that is would be a lot safer if parents pulled into that car park, dropped off their kids, and the kids could then walk less than 100 yards safely to the school through a path from the baths into the school without needing to use the pavements.

    bob Craven Lancs
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Come to my streets and see the mayhem that is the school run. Round the corner from me is a High School with well over 1,000 pupils. The cars descend at obvious peak times. At school holiday time the number of vehicles is dramatically reduced. At school drop and pick up time vehicle usage increases by about 1000%. That’s a tenfold increase in traffic.

    Outside the school, which is on a main arterial road, there are two pedestrian crossings, a bus stop directly outside and one across the road, and two side streets opposite. There are two vehicular accesses into the two school car parks, full of teachers cars and only wide enough to accommodate one car in or out at any one time. Many turn into said car parks, drop off and then back out onto the road. Parents double park or stop on the pedestrian crossing or on the two corners or on the pavements all just to drop off their children.

    bob craven Lancs
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    May I confirm Neil Greig’s suggestion, form the point of view of one who is, by virtue of his employment, rather more familiar with the accident situation than the lay man – and as one who lives directly opposite a school? I don’t think that it is unfair to say that £millions have been squandered on this fairly small problem, which should have been spent on treating the many fatal accident blacksites of which engineers are well aware. Evidence has yet to take the lead, I fear.

    Andrew Fraser
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

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