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Parents in Norfolk more likely to face fines for poor parking on school run

PUBLISHED: 17:22 12 September 2019 | UPDATED: 18:50 12 September 2019

Concerns were raised over parking on the school run at Sheringham Primary earlier this year. 
Photo: KAREN BETHELL.

Concerns were raised over parking on the school run at Sheringham Primary earlier this year. Photo: KAREN BETHELL.

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Parents who park where they shouldn't during the school run will face a greater chance of being fined in the future.

Graham Plant, Councillor, the deputy leader of Norfolk County Council and Great Yarmouth Borough Council. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodGraham Plant, Councillor, the deputy leader of Norfolk County Council and Great Yarmouth Borough Council. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

At the moment, the Norfolk Parking Partnership's enforcement officers wait 10 minutes before issuing fixed penalty notices to parents who ignore parking restrictions when dropping off or collecting children from school.

But councillors on the partnership's committee today agreed to half that leeway to five minutes.

It was a move which was welcomed by Graham Plant, the deputy leader of Norfolk County Council and Great Yarmouth Borough Council's representative on the committee.

He said: "There's a lot of issues across the county around parking around schools.

Amanda Soanes, 33, pictured with her 12-year-old son Theo, says parking issues near Angel Road School are a problem for residents. Photo: Amanda SoanesAmanda Soanes, 33, pictured with her 12-year-old son Theo, says parking issues near Angel Road School are a problem for residents. Photo: Amanda Soanes

"The problem has got worse, because parents choose schools which might not be near them, so they have to drive.

"That's not our problem - they should have thought of that."

He said the "menace" of parking outside schools needed to be addressed.

But Jo Copplestone, representing Broadland District Council, had reservations about too tough an approach.

She said: "I live in the middle of nowhere, miles from the nearest community.

"We have got a very rural county and sometimes parents are forced, even if it is the school they are meant to go to, to drive.

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"Zero tolerance in a rural community is too much."

The committee agreed to cut the observation time before issuing notices from 10 minutes to five minutes.

That only applies to where parents park outside schools with restrictions, such as zig zags and yellow lines.

The committee also agreed that the police should be asked to adopt a more consistent approach in tackling issues beyond the power of parking enforcement officers.

'I avoided coming home' - residents' frustrations at city school parking

Worried residents have spoken out over "dangerous" parking near a city school.

Parent Amanda Soanes, 33, who lives on Sun Lane, said: "When my son was at Angel Road School there were so many parents parking on my road and the other roads."

The marketing manager added: "When I was coming home from work I could not park anywhere near home.

"There'd be mums sitting in their cars and I'd ask them to move and they'd say no.

"It got to the point where I avoided coming home or driving at that time."

Miss Soanes, whose 12-year-old son Theo is now at Sprowston High School, added: "People had been boxed in. One person had to leave for a hospital appointment and they had to get the police involved so they'd move their car."

And Amber Green, a Crome Road resident, added: "If people are opening doors and children are walking out from between cars, it is dangerous.

"It's really frustrating for us residents."

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