Now that the county council has taken over the regulation of on street parking, law and order has been restored to our town centre, with shoppers and visitors finding it easier to stop to make a quick visit to a local shop or office.
The Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) officers now know where the hot spots are and are able to target these to great effect. One might even suggest that few of these offences take place before 8.45, or between 2.30 and 3 pm on any given day. Given their effectiveness at restoring order to the ‘wild west’ that was Spalding town centre, I wonder if the powers that be would consider widening the remit of CPE in order to restore some order to the streets around our schools?
As any highway’s officer or traffic cop will tell you, Spalding isn’t unique when it comes to stories of bad behaviour by car driving parents on streets around our local schools. Until now, the police have been the only ones with the powers to deal with these miscreants. Given the lack of police resources, the likelihood of a cry of, ‘you’re nicked!’, being heard outside of any school gate, is virtually nil. However, with the advent of CPE, we now have the potential to address this problem, thereby reducing the misery suffered by residents living in the streets surrounding our schools.
Most of our schools now have yellow zigzag lines on the road outside their front entrance. Whilst this seems to do the job of keeping these areas clear at the required times, it also has the knock on effect of pushing bad parking behaviour into surrounding streets.
I’m not suggesting that we should now be scarring every side street, around every school, with double yellow lines – as well as being an eyesore, that would make life even more difficult for residents. However, I do believe that it should be possible to make effective use of CPE to enforce some of the existing rules on the parking of vehicles on the public highway. Parking across a driveway where there’s a dropped kerb is an offence, as is parking with 10mts of a junction in most instances.
Once a few tickets have been issued outside of a number of schools and over a period of time, word will soon get around that the parking enforcers have widened their horizons and that it’s time for car driving parents to start behaving themselves.