THE safety of children outside schools has “dramatically improved” thanks to a pilot scheme which saw parking enforcement cameras installed by the gates of four schools.

Figures reveal penalty charge notices issued fell by 62 per cent in the areas the Park Safe Schools fixed cameras were installed.

The scheme aims to tackle dangerous and illegal parking outside schools and is thought to be the first of its kind in the country.

It uses cameras to monitor how motorists behave on the no stopping zones outside schools such as zig-zags and aims to support on-foot civil enforcement officers.

The trailblazing pilot, funded by The North Essex Parking Partnership, has been running at Stanway Fiveways Primary School in Colchester and Chase Lane Primary School in Dovercourt.

It also includes Winstree Road in Stanway which covers Stanway School and Lexden Springs schools.

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School drop off and pick up times in Stanway cause significant congestion and parking due to the close proximity of the three schools, while Chase Lane has experienced issues with dangerous parking due to the position of its entrance and exit, which the pilot has sought to rectify.

Data collected shows notices issued have decreased by 62 per cent in the areas the fixed cameras were installed, between April and July this year.

It means less dangerous and illegal parking has occurred since the introduction of the cameras.

The Park Safe Schools pilot also works alongside the 3PR initiative which provides schools with resources to educate parents and students on safe parking and behaviour outside the grounds.

Julie O’Mara, head teacher of Chase Lane Primary School, said: “We’re really grateful for the work NEPP have done with the schemes. Since the camera has been installed, we’ve noticed far less drivers obstructing pavements outside the school,” she said.

Due to its success, the pilot will continue with the aim to expand to more schools in Essex.