Selfish motorists risking the safety of children at an Angus primary school have forced the temporary closure of the car park in the front of the building.
The head teacher of Whitehills Primary School in Forfar has written to parents informing them the gates will be closed at drop-off and pick-up times, on a trial basis.
The decision was taken following concerns raised by parents and members of the school’s parent partnership.
Coureen Peters revealed Angus Council officers identified a number of hazards putting children at “great risk”.
Vehicles were double parked, parked in the drop off areas and were reversing round the car park.
She said: “Our primary aim in this action is to ensure pupils’ safety.”
The trial will run from Monday September 2 to Thursday October 3, with the gates closed between 8.45 and 9.15am and 3 to 3.30pm.
Ms Peters added: “If you intend to use your cars we ask you are mindful of our local community, take care not to park across drives or reverse into oncoming traffic.”
She also encouraged pupils to walk all the way from home to school, if possible; parents to park a distance from school with pupils walking the remainder, and drivers using a one-way system along Market Street, Fyffe Street and Service Road on to North Street.
Angus Councillor Lynne Devine, SNP member for Forfar and District, welcomed the initiative and urged parents to be more considerate.
She said: “I attended one of the school parent council meetings where this was discussed and I was very struck by the concerns being raised.
“Parents really need to think not just about their children but other children who are around. It is pretty dramatic the school has to take this decision and I back them on it.
“We have problems outside schools right across the council area where people are not taking due care and respecting other people’s spaces.
“Parents should think about children’s health, get them walking more, their safety and the environment.”
An Angus Council spokesperson said: “We fully support the school and the parent partnership in prioritising the safety of their children at the start and end of the school day.
“All our schools have a very clear focus on road safety. While approaches will differ according to local circumstances, our schools recognise everyone must play their part.
“We launched our Safely to School social media campaign to help raise awareness of this issue. Our parking enforcement team and Police Scotland cannot be outside every school every day.
“We need parents to help to reduce the use of cars around our schools and school car parks, and to put an end to the type of parking that puts children’s safety at risk at, in and around our schools.”