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CPZs & removal of parking around schools - a deputation to Southwark

strictly no parking written on wall

We went to Southwark Council's offices yesterday , on Tooley Street (where we fittingly saw this sign), to give a deputation to James Mcash, the cabinet lead for Transport & Clean Air about removing parking & controlling parking around schools as one of many measures needed to help reduce traffic on the school run.

Watch it online..

Here is our deputation on video with James McAsh's response. Go to 38 mins, 21 secs.

[the sound cut out for the first minute but hang in there!]

Or read our transcript here & a summary of how Cllr Mcash responded:

Scoot deputation to Southwark council

My name is Nicola Pastore and I am speaking on behalf of Scoot, Dulwich,

We are a community group focused on creating a more sustainable school run - our members are parents of children at many different types of schools in Dulwich.

Our plea to you today is to use parking policy as one of many measures needed to reduce school run traffic.

As context, Dulwich wards have a very high number of non-catchment schools. Non-catchment means that pupils don’t have to live in the immediate locality around their school to attend it. So there are 9,000 pupils at school in Dulwich who could live all across London, or even further. This creates a huge influx of pupil travel into and across Dulwich daily.

Although many families travel sustainably, the sheer numbers of pupils and longer distances that pupils are travelling means there are a huge number of school run car journeys in the area and this creates a dangerous, polluted, congested and incredibly stressful environment for families and children traveling at that time.

So now we turn to parking policy. - There is an abundance of free parking all around the schools in Dulwich wards and this is of course one of the factors that enables school run car trips in the area - enabling drop off very near the school gates.

But I think that easy drop off / pick up parking access has also contributed to a real lack of convenient, sustainable alternatives in some important areas. We know from Department for Transport national data as well as data that schools themselves release, that the highest rates of school run driving are for primary age pupils who live 1-3 miles from their school. And yet, there aren’t dedicated mini-bus services for that range and age. So we have the somewhat non-sensical situation where we have huge coaches primarily for secondary pupils that can bring in a 15 year old from Bayswater, 6 miles into Dulwich, which isn't necessarily a trip that would have been driven. But there isn't a school bus service that can bring a 6 year old from Peckham, or Camberwell, or Sydenham into Dulwich, which is exactly where data suggests the highest rates of driving are happening.

We think the council's parking policy can be a lever in stimulating behaviour change and making sustainable alternatives like this happen.

We ask for several measures from the council.

- Firstly we ask Cllr Mccash to join us for a walk around the areas around Dulwich schools to observe the stress & danger pupils are facing on their way to school & the sheer volumes of car trips.

We also want to see the council:

-reducing available parking spaces around schools, whilst of course prioritising the requirements of those with mobility needs & SEND needs but beyond that to reallocate parking space to sustainable travel measures like zebras crossings, bike lanes & mini-bus bays.

-Secondly, where parking bays are in place, we would like this to be paid for parking in the form of controlled parking zones around schools that specifically cover school run pick up & drop off timings - again - having to pay to access the drop off space around the school should again be a nudge that changes behaviour & stimulates change.

- Thirdly - we need the increased presence of parking officers around schools to enforce these policies at pick up and drop off.

To finish up, we just want to reiterate that our goal in requesting these parking policies is not to make life harder for the families accessing schools or residents in Dulwich, but to be a catalyst for schools and parents to create better, more convenient and sustainable ways for children to get here, and improve the school run for everyone

Key Summary of Cllr Mcash's response

  • The council's Streets for Vision people vision amongst other things is set out to address safe routes for children to get to school.

  • Parking is one of the levers the council has to implement this agenda.

  • The approach to controlled parking in Dulwich has changed, to implement where it is most necessary.

  • It is clear that Dulwich is a very unique area of Southwark (and indeed nation-wide) due to the number of non-catchment schools & density of those pupils. The council will be considering whether they can implement pick up & drop off controlled parking zones specifically around the schools to recognize that the streets around a school are different from other areas.

To summarise the direct response to our questions:

  • Parking around schools is being removed predominantly through the school streets program.

  • Controlled parking zones across Dulwich are now being looked at in a more targeted way and the council are looking at whether pick up & drop off parking measures can apply around schools.

  • Parking enforcement officers - the council increased their budget for more parking enforcement officers over the summer - it effectively doubled, staff are now being hired & trained so that impact should be felt soon. In the interim the council have a rolling rota of school enforcement based on residents requests, councillor requests, PCNs etc- but these can be tweaked where needed so feedback is important.



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