NEW traffic orders have been approved around Northumberland schools to help enforce parking restrictions.
Existing ‘Keep Clear’ markings are in place at most of the county’s 180 schools as road safety measures to try to prevent parking outside the gates.
However, in the vast majority of cases they have not been connected with a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO), meaning they are only advisory and cannot be enforced.
Now Northumberland County Council’s planning and environment committee has agreed to tighten up the controls with formal orders, ensuring that parking enforcement officers can issue fines to drivers who ignore the signs and markings.
Most of the orders will come into force for the start of the new school term next month, but further consultation will be carried out at a number of controversial sites where serious objections have been raised.
Committee member Paul Kelly said: “Right now some people believe it is every American’s right to carry a gun and there are lots of British people who think that because they own a car they have the right to put it wherever they like.
“How it inconveniences other people is irrelevant in their mind.
“I have read hundreds and hundreds of letters from residents whose lives have been made a misery by inconsiderate visitors to schools – people who have delivered a child or who are waiting for a child and believe that they have a God given right to sit outside people’s drives.
“It brings about a huge diminution of people’s quality of life.
“We need Traffic Regulation Orders in order to bring about some kind of civil behaviour, particularly outside schools.
“There are few schools in the county that haven’t got a parking problem outside of them. This is a major step along the way.”
Consultation on the orders was carried out in May and June.