16:12 Wednesday 12 February 2014

Plain clothes officers could enforce parking rules at school

Written byLAURA HAMMOND

03/12/13 Pic of bad school traffic at Shobnall - Shobnall Road, BurtonShobnall Traffic Action Group are concerned regarding the proposals of the entrance to a new housing estate being put next to the school when their is already parking issues along Shob 03/12/13 Pic of bad school traffic at Shobnall - Shobnall Road, BurtonShobnall Traffic Action Group are concerned regarding the proposals of the entrance to a new housing estate being put next to the school when their is already parking issues along Shob

PLAIN clothes police could be used to enforce parking restrictions on a busy road outside a school.

Officers may patrol the streets around Shobnall Primary School in an attempt to control the level of illegal parking in the area, which staff and parents believe is causing danger to children.

The school’s head teacher, Bernadette Roobottom, said the arrangement had not yet been set up, and it was one of a number of measures being considered to try to deal with the mounting issue, which has been exacerbated by the recent loss of the school crossing patrol.

“The area around the school will be actively policed at regular intervals, and there may well be plain clothes police patrolling the area. However, it’s not quite as blunt as removing traffic patrols and then putting a plain clothes officer,” she added.

Negotiations with police are yet to take place, Mrs Roobottom said.

The idea of using an officer in this way came about following a meeting between the school, local councillors and representatives from highways agency Staffordshire County Council. It was called because of safety concerns for children at the school.

Cars are often double-parked and run along the road onbdouble yellow lines.

Enforcement officers have said they will visit the school to try to deal with the ongoing issue.

Mrs Roobottom said: “The school is very concerned over safety issues for the children.

“The school was built many years ago, and it’s on a corner which is now dangerous. Shobnall Road itself has become much busier.

“On Reservoir Road, if somebody is parked and people drive down, it is difficult to see and can be dangerous.”

Residents living near the school have also complained about dangerous parking at school times, as they believe it makes the already-busy road even more dangerous. Fears have increased after a 2,500-home development was approved across the road, and another site was given the go-ahead on Reservoir Road.

Mrs Roobottom said the problem had been made even worse in recent months, as the two PCSOs who used to patrol the area are both off at the moment, as well as the loss of the school crossing patrol, who was not replaced when the last lollipop man retired.

The use of plain clothes police has been described as ‘underhand’ by some parents, who said they were not happy about the arrangement.

“Some people feel they might get caught out,” one parent told the Mail.

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