VOICE OF THE FENS: School parking crackdown - firm action better than no action

POLICE were met with tears, shock and, in some cases, anger when they decided to crackdown on illegal parking outside a Fenland school on Friday.

Four tickets were handed out to bewildered parents trying to drop their children off at Cavalry Primary School in March. Two were breathalysed and 30 cars were moved on as officers tried to take a “firm, friendly and fair” approach to the clampdown.

The action was branded “heavy-handed” and “inconsistent” and a police van was even photographed stopping in the same bay which had been at the centre of the parking purge.

But - whatever criticisms have since been targeted at Cambridgeshire Constabulary - the simple fact is that something had to be done.

Parents, teachers and even pupils themselves have complained about the dangers of illegal parking and dangerous driving outside Fenland’s schools.

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This year’s youngest Kids Are Alright hopeful, seven-year-old Mollie Charman, was nominated for her contributions to road safety - designing a banner which urges drivers to take care.

The truth is that this problem is county-wide, if not country-wide. It’s hard to find a school that doesn’t have some sort of road safety issue.

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Solutions have been suggested. Many parents on Friday supported a “drop-off zone” where children can be safely brought to school. But, in most cases, practicalities and finances make this option impossible.

Surely the most preferable solution is to bring back the walking and cycling school journeys, which seem to have almost drifted out of fashion.

Of course this will be impossible for some parents who live too far away, but for those who aren’t it could give a massive safety boost to children across Fenland.

Until that happens police have little choice but to carry out these action days to enforce the rules of the road - even if the manner in which they do so is sometimes questioned.

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