NOTE: This content is old - Published: Tuesday, May 21st, 2019.
A mobile camera is set to be used as part of a crackdown on anti-social parking outside schools in Flintshire, it has been revealed.
Flintshire Council has received funding to buy a device which can be moved between school sites in the county to enforce against those who park dangerously.
The purchase was announced after community leaders raised concerns about plans to introduce blanket 20mph speed limits in urban areas being placed on hold.
The local authority’s intention to set out its position on cutting the limit was overtaken by a recent statement made by First Minister Mark Drakeford in which he voiced his support for 20mph to become the default restriction across Wales.
Labour’s Paul Shotton was among those who expressed his regret that speed limits outside schools would not be cut in the short term.
Speaking at an environment scrutiny committee meeting held at Wepre Park, the Connah’s Quay Golftyn councillor said: “I’m disappointed because we’ve currently got a 20mph advisory limit outside schools.
“I’d like to see it become mandatory with the speeding issues and the increased levels of indiscriminate parking that are happening outside our schools.
“I’ve again received complaints regarding parking outside the primary school at Ysgol Bryn Deva.
“Enforcement officers do turn up, but the fact is we need robust enforcement across all of our schools going forward.”
Parking issues have been raised in a number of areas of the county in recent years, including Mountain Lane School in Buckley.
A new parking system was introduced earlier this year, which saw nearby St Matthew’s Church allow parents to use its car park, with new footpaths installed to link to the school.
Anthony Stanford, the authority’s transportation and strategy manager, said he hoped the presence of the camera would make drivers change their behaviour.
He said: “The benefit of it is the theory that Big Brother is watching you.
“Whilst we may have one camera, we have the ability to put signs up saying it’s a mobile camera enforcement area.
“That will have a greater effect in regulating parking not just outside schools, but actually on the whole route to school.”
In relation to speeding, he said the council would work with other authorities and the Welsh Government to explore new legislation.
Areas outside all schools in Flintshire are already subject to advisory 20mph speed limits.
But Mr Stanford said such speed limits are not enforceable and have achieved varying degrees of success.
He added that current legislation meant traffic calming measures would need to be introduced before a mandatory restriction could be imposed in most cases, which could carry a significant cost.
He said: “The long and short of it is that the biggest barrier to implementing 20mph across the county is going to be the requirement for visible traffic calming.
“The cost associated with an average traffic calming scheme could be in excess of £150,000.
“If you magnify that to the whole council then the question is how are we actually going to achieve that under the current legislation?
“In order for the 20mph zones to be achievable and affordable a change to the current national legislation is essential.”
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).