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Hackney schools’ parking “scandal”

PUBLISHED: 10:34 01 February 2012 | UPDATED: 10:41 02 February 2012

Jeremy Gilpin and his son Dylan, five, outside Benthall School. Jeremy is upset with people parking outside the school.

Jeremy Gilpin and his son Dylan, five, outside Benthall School. Jeremy is upset with people parking outside the school.

Archant

»Children’s lives are being endangered because parking controls outside schools in the borough are unenforceable because of a loophole, it has emerged.

One Traffic Management Order from 2008 exists for all schools in the borough – but it fails to mention the exact location of each school’s keep-clear markings and the hours of operation, meaning any penalty charge notice issued is invalid.

Until it is revised and updated parents doing the school run and parking illegally in the vicinity of schools have very little chance of getting a ticket.

The council, which is responsible for parking measures, was accused of “bureaucratic bungling” by Jeremy Gilpin, the vice-chairman of governors of Benthal School in Maury Road, Stoke Newington.

Mr Gilpin, a BBC journalist, has been pressing the council to ensure parents who regularly ignore stopping and waiting traffic restrictions outside his school and jeopardise the safety of children, are given tickets

In an email to him, Andrew Cunningham, head of the council’s streetscene department, said: “No school markings are currently enforceable.

“They will not be until an updated and complete Traffic Management Order is in place, when all the zig zags have been refreshed and correct signage is in place that enforcement can take place.

“The 2008 Order sought to consolidate all the separate Orders but failed to include all the required pieces of information to ensure a satisfactory outcome if a penalty charge notice were to be issued.”

An outraged Mr Gilpin told the Gazette: “Bungling bureaucrats are putting the lives of Hackney’s children at risk because the traffic management order is unlawful.

“It’s a scandal - if that’s the situation since 2008 why are they sitting on their hands for four years?”

Mr Gilpin was told the problem would be resolved by January, but the council now set the date to August.

In a statement, Cllr Feryal Demirci, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said that children’s safety was of paramount importance to the council.

“The previous traffic order was not as robust as it should have been, and that is why we began the process of rectifying the matter,” she added.

“In the meantime, we would ask that for the safety of both children and adults, that parents and guardians don’t park on zig zag lines outside Hackney’s schools”


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