Surveillance of parents scheme launched in Waltham Abbey following reports of unsafe parking outside schools across Epping Forest

Parents to be placed under surveillance outside schools

The new Park Safe camera car at Hillhouse Primary School

Gary Waller and Robert Mitchell with the camera car

Anabelle Williams and her mother Sandra outside Roydon Primary School

Barry Rist, Roydon Primary School lollipop man

First published in News
Last updated
East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter - Epping Forest

Parents will be placed under surveillance outside schools to stop the "daily nightmare" of dangerous parking putting children at risk.

The North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP) has unveiled the Park Safe camera car, which will patrol schools across the district.

NEPP chairman Robert Mitchell said: “I think it will only take three or four tickets at each school before the message gets around that it‘s not worthwhile to stop in the wrong place.”

“This is not a spy car, it is highly visible and motorists will only be fined if they are committing an offence.”

It is hoped the car will be self-funding, with half of profits from penalty notices paid to operating company Capita.

The car was launched today at Hillhouse Primary School in Ninefields, Waltham Abbey, where there have been long–running problems with irresponsible parking.

Headteacher Joanne Wilcox said: “It’s a great scheme, anything to stop this daily nightmare.

“Sometimes you see cars coming around the corner and you just put your hands across your face and hope they don’t hit anyone.”

Louise Wackett a governor at the school said: “It’s inexcusable for parents to be doing this especially when we have a lot of really good parking.

“They are putting other people’s children at risk.”

The car will patrol around 300 schools across the five participating districts in Essex including more than 50 in Epping Forest.

Natasha Richardson, 24, a mother who parks outside Roydon Primary School in Epping Road, Roydon said: "It's an absolute nightmare here especially if a lorry or bus comes down the road.

"I don't agree with people getting fined though because there's nowhere else to park. It would be fair enough if there were more spaces available."

Sandra Williams, 47, also picks her child up from the school.

She said: "I think all the area outside the school should be double yellow lined because it's too hazardous.

"Parents can park a little way away and walk to the school. It would be safer and it's healthy."

The camera will automatically begin filming when in a controlled parking zone outside a school and will shut off when the car leaves the area.

Footage will then be seen by council officers and a judgement made as to whether a violation has occurred.

Epping Forest District Council’s transport portfolio holder, Gary Waller, said: “The council gets more complaints about these infringements than any other traffic offences.

“The scheme is about ensuring the safety of the children and not about making money.”

Comments (10)

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5:31pm Mon 27 Jan 14

fjl says...

Great idea. Some of the school run parking I see is simply outrageous. They seem unable to contemplate parking properly a street of two away and using their legs for a minute long walk. They simply must get as close as possible even though it means parking like an idiot. This should take place outside every school.
Great idea. Some of the school run parking I see is simply outrageous. They seem unable to contemplate parking properly a street of two away and using their legs for a minute long walk. They simply must get as close as possible even though it means parking like an idiot. This should take place outside every school. fjl
  • Score: 19

7:01pm Mon 27 Jan 14

Johnny Boy says...

Apart from being unable to walk 20ft it's also a great way of displaying their status symbol vehicles. The 4x4 stereotype doing what they do best......showing they cannot reverse for toffee......!!!
Apart from being unable to walk 20ft it's also a great way of displaying their status symbol vehicles. The 4x4 stereotype doing what they do best......showing they cannot reverse for toffee......!!! Johnny Boy
  • Score: 10

9:12pm Mon 27 Jan 14

Villagecranberry says...

Good news!
Good news! Villagecranberry
  • Score: 5

1:15am Tue 28 Jan 14

HottRedMan says...

How pathetic this is, if they are stopping on markings, then give them 3 points, not fines. It goes to show they do not take it seriously, only as a method for raising extra cash as usual.
How pathetic this is, if they are stopping on markings, then give them 3 points, not fines. It goes to show they do not take it seriously, only as a method for raising extra cash as usual. HottRedMan
  • Score: -7

1:30am Tue 28 Jan 14

mdj says...

'I think it will only take three or four tickets at each school before the message gets around that it‘s not worthwhile to stop in the wrong place.”

... motorists will only be fined if they are committing an offence.”...

...It is hoped the car will be self-funding'

Er, if it's successful it won't make any money at all, surely?
'I think it will only take three or four tickets at each school before the message gets around that it‘s not worthwhile to stop in the wrong place.” ... motorists will only be fined if they are committing an offence.”... ...It is hoped the car will be self-funding' Er, if it's successful it won't make any money at all, surely? mdj
  • Score: 3

3:30am Tue 28 Jan 14

Villagecranberry says...

HottRedMan wrote:
How pathetic this is, if they are stopping on markings, then give them 3 points, not fines. It goes to show they do not take it seriously, only as a method for raising extra cash as usual.
No just controlling demanding parents who hog roads and coffee shops after they clutter the roads by blocking aisles with designer buggies in coffee shops.
[quote][p][bold]HottRedMan[/bold] wrote: How pathetic this is, if they are stopping on markings, then give them 3 points, not fines. It goes to show they do not take it seriously, only as a method for raising extra cash as usual.[/p][/quote]No just controlling demanding parents who hog roads and coffee shops after they clutter the roads by blocking aisles with designer buggies in coffee shops. Villagecranberry
  • Score: 2

12:33pm Tue 28 Jan 14

Thunderbird4 says...

mdj wrote:
'I think it will only take three or four tickets at each school before the message gets around that it‘s not worthwhile to stop in the wrong place.”

... motorists will only be fined if they are committing an offence.”...

...It is hoped the car will be self-funding'

Er, if it's successful it won't make any money at all, surely?
Just like dentists.
[quote][p][bold]mdj[/bold] wrote: 'I think it will only take three or four tickets at each school before the message gets around that it‘s not worthwhile to stop in the wrong place.” ... motorists will only be fined if they are committing an offence.”... ...It is hoped the car will be self-funding' Er, if it's successful it won't make any money at all, surely?[/p][/quote]Just like dentists. Thunderbird4
  • Score: 0

2:08pm Tue 28 Jan 14

escapefrome17 says...

This is coming at it from the wrong angle- all it is is yet another money making parking scheme. What's really needed is a proper uniformed police officer dealing with this, standing outside the school and issuing tickets and/or advice, not yet another private company's snooping camera car. If the council were serious about this, that's what would be happening....as it stands, they're clearly just in it for the money, not childrens safety. These snoop cars, often parked on double yellows themselves, cost money: a lot of it. Surely it would be more economically viable and a lot more effective to use existing resources? People wolud respect a copper doing it, but this is just designed to make money.
This is coming at it from the wrong angle- all it is is yet another money making parking scheme. What's really needed is a proper uniformed police officer dealing with this, standing outside the school and issuing tickets and/or advice, not yet another private company's snooping camera car. If the council were serious about this, that's what would be happening....as it stands, they're clearly just in it for the money, not childrens safety. These snoop cars, often parked on double yellows themselves, cost money: a lot of it. Surely it would be more economically viable and a lot more effective to use existing resources? People wolud respect a copper doing it, but this is just designed to make money. escapefrome17
  • Score: 3

3:08pm Tue 28 Jan 14

Villagecranberry says...

escapefrome17 wrote:
This is coming at it from the wrong angle- all it is is yet another money making parking scheme. What's really needed is a proper uniformed police officer dealing with this, standing outside the school and issuing tickets and/or advice, not yet another private company's snooping camera car. If the council were serious about this, that's what would be happening....as it stands, they're clearly just in it for the money, not childrens safety. These snoop cars, often parked on double yellows themselves, cost money: a lot of it. Surely it would be more economically viable and a lot more effective to use existing resources? People wolud respect a copper doing it, but this is just designed to make money.
In Private Eye, the journalists often post adverse reports about this company and place an 'r' between the 'C and A' when they refer to it. It has a track record of vast incompetence.
[quote][p][bold]escapefrome17[/bold] wrote: This is coming at it from the wrong angle- all it is is yet another money making parking scheme. What's really needed is a proper uniformed police officer dealing with this, standing outside the school and issuing tickets and/or advice, not yet another private company's snooping camera car. If the council were serious about this, that's what would be happening....as it stands, they're clearly just in it for the money, not childrens safety. These snoop cars, often parked on double yellows themselves, cost money: a lot of it. Surely it would be more economically viable and a lot more effective to use existing resources? People wolud respect a copper doing it, but this is just designed to make money.[/p][/quote]In Private Eye, the journalists often post adverse reports about this company and place an 'r' between the 'C and A' when they refer to it. It has a track record of vast incompetence. Villagecranberry
  • Score: 0

5:18pm Wed 29 Jan 14

pan says...

Anything that gets kids walking to school is a good idea.
Anything that gets kids walking to school is a good idea. pan
  • Score: 7

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