The media reports East Lothian Council’s decision to ban cars from streets near a school in Haddington. If it proves effective it could be rolled out across the county.
The issue of parked cars near schools is a divisive one in many areas, especially where schools and residential homes are in close proximity. In Pencaitland’s case the main point of access to the school is via the Glebe — a cul de sac which can struggle to accommodate the volume of cars that arrive for morning drop-off or afternoon pick-up.
In the past the local school has attempted to address the problem with repeated requests for parents to avoid the use of cars to bring their children to school or, if they must, to park further away. Other efforts have included carrots such as the regular ‘walk to school’ week, or more visible policing with the local PC and traffic warden being on site.
There is some anecdotal evidence that such campaigns have alleviated problems for a period but it invariably reverts back to previous levels fairly quickly.
In light of this, it now looks as if East Lothian Council has decided to adopt a fairly radical new approach, effectively banning cars from designated streets — other than those of residents and the disabled.
The Scotsman reports that the council’s senior area officer, Peter Forsyth, said “The behaviour of these drivers, who make dangerous turning and reversing manoeuvres and contribute to congestion, cause difficulties for the majority of pupils and parents who walk or cycle to and from school.
“It is totally inappropriate to try and carry out these sorts of manoeuvres close to schools where there is a great number of schoolchildren present.
“Following representations from the parent councils of the three schools, it was agreed to introduce the experimental traffic regulation order. East Lothian Council may be the first council in the whole of the UK to take this approach.”
You can read the full Scotsman report here.
On the RadioDid you hear today’s (16th Nov 2012) Radio Scotland phone-in on this topic? If not you can still catch it using the BBC’s catch-up service for the next fortnight.
Q. What do you think of this approach? Would you welcome a ban on cars using the Glebe in Pencaitland or is it an over-reaction? Leave your comment below.