Motorists fined for illegal parking outside Calderdale schools

Picture taken of illegally parked cars outside Lee Mount School.
Picture taken of illegally parked cars outside Lee Mount School.

Motorists have been putting children’s lives at risk by parking dangerously and illegally outside schools across Calderdale.

A national charity stressed the importance walking to school has on tackling rising childhood obesity levels, encouraging parents to leave their cars at home.

An investigation revealed that in 2016, 4,375 fines were dished out to Yorkshire drivers for parking in restricted areas outside schools, including on keep clear markings or yellow lines near school gates.

And during the first three months of this year, a total of 1,360 penalties have been issued, indicating that the number is set to rise.

The figures obtained under the freedom of information act are expected to be even higher, as a number of the 12 local education authorities that provided figures, stated that other contraventions could have occurred, however the data was too difficult to retrieve.

In Calderdale 19 fines were issued from January 2016 to the end of December 2016 for parking infringements outside schools.

A total of five fines have been issued from January 2017 to the end of March 2017 in the borough.

Walking and cycling charity Sustrans is urging parents to let their children walk to school rather than dropping them off by car at the gates.

The plea comes after figures show that around one in three children leave primary school overweight or obese.

Chris Bennett, head, of behaviour change and engagement at Sustrans, said: “At 1.6 miles, the average primary school journey is a distance that can be walked, scooted or cycled as an easy way of building more physical activity into our busy lives, as well as reducing congestion and pollution around the school gates.

“According to government guidelines, children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day ‘to maintain a basic level of health’.”