For many years, parents’ preference for dropping their children off directly outside the school gates had presented a road safety hazard at several schools in Havering. Following a series of unsuccessful campaigns and polite requests for parents to change their parking behaviour, the council decided that a more robust intervention was required with the safety of children paramount.
The London Borough of Havering was the first to launch a scheme to make it a fineable offence for parents to park in a CPZ set around four schools in the borough. The scheme, implemented in November 2016, is administered through a PSPO using powers granted under the Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014. The Order prohibits parking in the zone during peak school hours and the scheme is enforced using Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs), CCTV and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR). A standard fine is £100, but multiple offenders (three offences or more) could receive a £1000 fine and a criminal record.
Once implemented, results were immediately positive with instances of parking inside the prohibited zone reduced to almost zero. Havering Council attribute part of the scheme’s success to the effective communication and engagement with all major stakeholders delivered in the run-up to its introduction as well as the positive contribution of the media in helping to raise the profile of the scheme, including national broadcasters such as BBC and ITV. Havering Council does stress, however, that a PSPO should only be used as a last-resort measure only once more conventional approaches have been tried and exhausted. It is important to recognise the prohibition was imposed on preventing anti-social behaviour, not for stopping parking, nor penalising residents.