Cameras set to control School Streets in Southend

Cameras could be used to catch any parents who flout bans on traffic around some Southend schools at drop off and pick up time.

A pilot scheme of Schools Streets where traffic is barred is underway outside a number of schools in the city.

Currently volunteers man physical barriers across several roads near schools at these times but Southend Council is hoping to install cameras to police the roads outside participating schools.

It comes as Ian Gilbert, Labour councillor for Victoria Ward has called for roads around Bournemouth Park Academy to be included in a current pilot scheme of Schools Streets where traffic is barred when children are going to and leaving school.

West Leigh School, in Leigh, was among the first to implement the scheme which has proved a success.

Cllr Gilbert said: “These are roads particularly around the back entrance to the school on Dryden Avenue and Sycamore Grove. You can’t park on Bournemouth Park Road itself and no one is suggesting we close Bournemouth Park Road but the roads round the back of the school get very congested around pick up and drop off times.

“Residents have raised that with me and want to make that safer.”

Asked whether the roads would be manned by volunteers or opt for cameras to monitor the scheme, Cllr Gilbert added: “I’m open to either option whatever people feel works. At the moment I don’t think we’ve successfully implemented any camera controls but ideally you would want a system that just worked without people having to be stood there.”

Kevin Buck, councillor responsible for highways, transport and parking, said: “There was an initial trial of a number of schools. The trial has produced varying results where schemes have worked very well at some schools, less well at other schools and some where they’ve struggled to get volunteers to man the barriers.

“The review is about to be completed on the pilot schemes and as a council we’re very much in favour of continuing with existing schemes and looking at any new schemes where there is a demand and requirement and the schools and the parents are in favour of it.

Cllr Buck added: “The council has applied for devolved powers to allow for mobile enforcement and that includes a couple of the Schools Streets that are being trialled, one of them being Greenways. If they are granted, the council can install the camera equipment to enforce the School Streets rather than having to use the barriers.”

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Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter