Coventry Council Grapples with Parking Enforcement Outside Schools

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In Coventry, the issue of unlawful parking outside schools has prompted concerns, with the city council facing constraints in adequately enforcing parking regulations. A recent report reveals that the council operates only one patrol car equipped with an Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) camera to address parking violations across over 100 schools in the city.

The singular patrol car, introduced in 2019, aims to crackdown on motorists who flout parking regulations, particularly those who park on zigzag ‘keep clear’ lines outside school premises. However, with 115 schools in the city, many of which boast two entrances, the report acknowledges the significant challenge of enforcing regulations consistently across the board. The council admits that its enforcement resources are stretched thin due to the sheer volume of access restrictions, which amount to approximately 200 during school term time.

The ANPR car operates on a rotating schedule, prioritising visits to schools with more severe parking issues. Additionally, it serves to enforce other restrictions within the city, such as red routes and taxi ranks. Despite these efforts, the council recognises the need for additional measures to tackle the persistent problem of illegal parking outside schools.

Plans are underway to introduce static ANPR enforcement cameras throughout the city later this year, specifically targeting parking violations near schools. While the use of CCTV cameras outside schools is also considered, the extent of their deployment remains undisclosed in official documents.

Furthermore, the council’s enforcement capabilities are bolstered by a team of 33 traffic wardens, also known as “civil enforcement officers.” These officers primarily patrol the city centre, where traffic congestion is most prevalent, while also ensuring the functionality of equipment in council-owned car parks. Their deployment to other areas is determined by various factors, including traffic regulation orders (TROs) and school drop-off and pick-up times.

The report underscores the importance of evidence-based decision-making, citing road safety data, historical trends, and input from local councillors as influential factors. In response to the shortage of legally enforceable ‘keep clear’ markings outside schools, recommendations were made in 2018 to expand TRO coverage and implement measures to address parking challenges.

One such initiative, the introduction of “school streets,” restricts access to residents and emergency vehicles during school drop-off and pick-up times. This scheme, which debuted last year, has been extended to additional schools in recent months, signalling the council’s commitment to proactive solutions.

Looking ahead, Coventry Council is exploring the possibility of using cameras to monitor school streets, contingent upon demand and evidence. The implementation of a virtual permit system is being considered, with the potential to enhance the effectiveness of school street schemes and promote active forms of travel to school.

The issue of parking enforcement outside schools will be a focal point of discussion at an upcoming council meeting scheduled for 11th April. As the council continues to address this pressing issue, stakeholders anticipate collaborative efforts to mitigate traffic congestion and enhance road safety in the vicinity of educational institutions.

In conclusion, Coventry Council faces significant challenges in enforcing parking regulations outside schools due to limited resources and increasing demand. While current measures, including ANPR-equipped patrol cars and traffic wardens, aim to curb illegal parking, additional strategies such as static ANPR cameras and school street schemes are being pursued to achieve more effective enforcement. As the council deliberates on future initiatives, the overarching goal remains the promotion of safe and sustainable travel practices around school premises.

Dawn Jackson
Dawn Jackson
Journalist Dawn is an experienced business journalist specializing in regional coverage across the United Kingdom. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for uncovering stories that impact local communities, Dawn brings a unique perspective to her work. Through her insightful reporting, she keeps readers informed about the latest developments in various regions, shedding light on the economic landscape and entrepreneurial endeavours. Dawn's dedication to delivering accurate and engaging business news makes her a valuable asset to the News Write Ups team.

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