Parents have called for a traffic ban outside a Fife primary school amid fears there’s an accident waiting to happen.
A petition calling for an exclusion zone outside Denend Primary in Cardenden will be presented to councillors next month.
The move follows a number of incidents where young pupils have almost been hit by cars as they cross School Lane outside the building.
If approved, the exclusions would see vehicles banned from the street in the half hour or so before and after the school day.
Parent council member Auxi Sousa says the measure is very much needed.
“It’s got worse and worse since the schools went back after the Covid lockdown,” she said.
“More people are bringing their children to school in cars, the traffic is horrendous and appeals to them to stop haven’t worked.
“Do we have to wait until an accident happens?”
School gate is 67 yards from the main road
Traffic congestion outside schools isn’t a problem that’s unique to Cardenden.
However, Auxi says the issue is particularly acute there as School Lane is so narrow.
“The school is about 100-years-old and when it opened nobody had a car,” she said.
“But now almost everyone has a car and the road is no longer fit for purpose.”
She added: “There have been many near misses – almost daily.
“The most recent was a couple of weeks ago when a car almost hit two wee girls and we were all waving at the driver to stop.”
The parent council wants people who bring youngsters to school by car to park on the main road and walk the 67 yards to the school gate.
Alternatively, the railway station car park is just a two-minute walk away.
“We feel the only way to make it safe is to close the lane before and after the school.
“It’s worked in other areas and we think it will work here.”
Many parents ‘continue to drive’
Headteacher Claire Wyatt confirmed inconsiderate parking is an ongoing issue.
“Regular emails are sent to parents to remind them of the dangers to children when cars are parked outside the school at the beginning and end of the school day,” she said.
Ms Wyatt said many children already walk or cycle to school.
But she added: “There are still many parents who continue to drive children to school and contribute to the dangerous congestion on School Lane.
“We would urge them to seriously consider their travel option to help keep our children safe.”
Exclusion zones work elsewhere
In February, councillors in Angus approved plans for exclusion zones at three schools there.
An 18-month pilot scheme was set up at Ferryden in Montrose, Langlands in Forfar and Muirfield in Arbroath following complaints about traffic.
The schools now encourage children to walk, scoot or cycle to school instead.
Meanwhile, in Dundee, plans for a driving ban at Fintry Primary were agreed.
Auxi hopes Fife Council follows suit.
“We’ve been trying to push them on this but they say there’s no record of an injury to support an intervention,” she said.
“We were advised a petition would be the way to go.
“We’ve been collecting signatures and we’ll hand it over to the Cowdenbeath area committee in October.”