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Resident Parking and the Issue of fixed penalty notices (Fines)

Resident Parking Concerns and Parking Enforcement


I have today been made aware that some parents at school have received parking fines when dropping children off at school in the morning when they have parked in Resident Permit Zones.   


This should not be a surprise as the enforcement notices have been in place for some time and I have repeatedly spoken to parents about the matter – warning them of the consequences in person and in writing.  Sadly, some have not adhered to this advice and now fines are being issued by parking wardens.


We do actively encourage families to walk to and from school in order to:


  • Reduce localised pollution
  • Reduce high volumes of traffic
  • Support a healthier lifestyle for children


It is understood that for some this is not possible, as they live out of catchment area or continue their journey to work from the school drop off.


What walking distance is reasonably expected?

We would encourage children to walk regularly within a reasonable distance, if they are fit, healthy and it is safe to do so.  However, the law defines what is reasonably expected as:


“for children aged over 5 but under the age of 8 the statutory walking distance is 2 miles. For children aged over the age of 8 and under 16 the statutory walking distance is 3 miles” (Education act 1996)”


For Ashgate Primary School this means that all children who attend from inside the Local Authority catchment area of the school are well within walking distance.  The catchment area includes that as far as Kedleston Road, Ford Street and Uttoxeter New Road and the eastern point of Brackensdale Avenue; all within the legal walking expectation.


Whilst this does not mean children out of catchment area cannot attend (nor do we wish to discourage children doing so), the parent is opting to send their child to a school out of area or potentially beyond the defined walking distance.  Transport or parking is therefore not available for parents.  Parking for staff and official visitors is provided as it is not expected or appropriate for staff or visitors to live within catchment area.


But I have to use my car, I have no option – what should I do?

If you genuinely have no alternative but to use your car, you should look carefully at the signage around the school area to ensure that you are not parking in a resident parking zone.


Parking away from the close vicinity of the school is an option.  From these locations parents can walk a short distance to school which is only a matter of minutes.  If you are doing this, you need to consider this in your journey planning.


Important note:  ‘There was nowhere to park’ is not and will not be an acceptable reason for late arrival to school and will be recorded as such.  There is a reasonable expectation that parents plan their journey to arrive at school promptly and if necessary this should include the time taken to locate and park your vehicle as well as to walk to school from it.   


It is not within my remit or power to suggest specific parking locations, therefore parents should look carefully at the signage.


Please be considerate to residents

Close proximity to the University campus and the inconsiderate actions of a minority have led to the resident permit zones being enforced.  In my experience, the more people fail to adhere to the restrictions, the more likely fixed penalty notices will be issued by the Local Authority.


Local residents now have the legal right to park their vehicle outside or close to their home and as such pay for that privilege.  This must be respected and is legally binding.  It is true  that ‘school was here before the cars’, (a comment I have had repeated to me) but this is likewise applicable to parents opting to drive their child to school.


In the past I have had complaints raised about inconsiderate parking including cars abandoned in the road, vehicles reversing up streets, three point turning mid way down roads and even parents being confrontational and swearing at residents who have understandably pointed out the resident parking signs.  This is not acceptable from any individual, especially in front of children and reflects badly on the school.


Parents have been advised accordingly and should expect a fine if they flaunt the rules.