Essex

Teachers and parents given school parking ticket powers

Traffic warden Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption School volunteers would have the same powers to issue parking tickets as full-time traffic wardens employed by the council

Teachers and parents are being asked to act as traffic wardens with powers to issue parking tickets outside Essex schools.

A Thurrock Council pilot scheme, first reported by Your Thurrock, will begin on Monday at a Tilbury primary school.

The council said it does not have enough traffic wardens to police illegal parking outside schools.

A teaching union spokesman feared it could create conflict between staff and some parents.

The pilot scheme will take place at Tilbury Pioneer Academy following a week of training for a parent volunteer.

'Frighteningly dangerous'

Jerry Glazier, national executive member of the National Union of Teachers in Essex, said: "It's unusual and innovative as parking is a perennial problem which needs tackling, but educating parents would be the best way forward.

"Teachers are there to teach and maintain positive relations with parents and I'm pretty certain most teachers would not want to put themselves into situations of potential conflict.

"Maybe some parents would volunteer, but it's masking the bigger problem of cuts to local authorities."

Thurrock said it had 50 schools, but only six full-time traffic wardens.

John Kent, Labour leader of the council, said: "We have teachers, parents and residents telling us time and again about frighteningly dangerous parking outside schools, but we don't have the money to have an army of traffic wardens.

"There are teachers and head teachers who try to marshal the traffic already and what they've said to us is that if they have the authority to issue a ticket, it's another weapon in their armoury.

"I think we will get volunteers because issuing a ticket will be the last resort - it's about talking and cajoling people to change their behaviour and I would be delighted if we never issue a single ticket."

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