School parking woes could be improved

SCHOOL parking enforcement could be stepped up as the county council looks to alleviate the continuing problem.

Northamptonshire County Council will decide a way forward for its parking enforcement when it starts work to find a new firm to take up a four-year contract at next week’s county council cabinet meeting.

The county council has said that the new firm should improve enforcement of future waiting restrictions at schools.

Cllr Ben Smith, who is in charge of the county’s parking, said: “At some schools parking is not a problem, but at others it’s a nightmare.

“We need to look at ways to improve waiting restriction enforcement at schools, and perhaps other methods such as encouraging green transport.

“We need to assess each school on a individual basis and see how we can make improvements.”

Nearly five years ago the county council agreed a contract with National Car Parks Ltd for them to take charge of parking enforcement. This will expire in August and the council is hoping to find another firm.

All areas in the north of the county are approved for parking enforcement except Kettering, Council, which has not signed up to the county council’s strategy.

Kerrey Healy, 38, of Irthlingborough, has a son that goes to Irthlingborough Infants School, in Scarborough Street.

She said: “Parking is a real problem at the school – I have to park in a nearby pub’s car park. But I’m 50:50 on improved enforcement.

“The roads must be safe for the pupils, but a lot of parents have to drive far to get their kids to school.

“Some parents didn’t get their children into their first choice school so public transport isn’t an option.”

The new contract should also explore the possibility of introducing short stay free parking in town centres in a bid to help both traders and shoppers.