Angus councillors have approved plans to ban cars at three Angus primary schools in a bid to make streets safer for school children.
Exclusion zones will be set up on a trial basis at Ferryden in Montrose, Langlands in Forfar and Muirfield in Arbroath following historic traffic complaints from parents.
Transport chiefs proposed the 18-month pilot scheme in an attempt to cut down on vehicles on the roads directly outside the school buildings.
Concerns had been raised over restricted visibility at junctions and traffic congestion at the school gates near the three primary schools.
In Montrose and Arbroath, vehicles will be prohibited from 8.30-9.30am and from 2.45-3.30pm. Meanwhile drivers will be banned from 8.30-9.15am and 2.45-3.30pm in Forfar.
Angus Council’s communities committee heard on Tuesday how the three local primaries strongly supported the traffic calming measures and would be encouraging children to walk, scoot or cycle to school instead.
Montrose councillor Bill Duff welcomed the traffic ban at Ferryden Primary following years of “longstanding” traffic issues.
However drivers will not be able to enter Craig Crescent in Montrose during pick up and drop off times and Mr Duff raised concerns traffic could be displaced onto neighbouring streets if cars were banned.
“If we exclude people from dropping off on Craig Crescent then that would suggest to me that it would come out onto Craig Road.
“I can foresee people double parking on Craig Road to let out their children and that could be a bit of a mess.”
Exemptions are expected to be made for residents living on the school streets and for other essential groups such as emergency services, blue badge holders and local businesses.
Transport boss Walter Scott assured councillors that traffic displacement onto neighbouring streets would be monitored as part of the trial scheme.
Trial to be reviewed
He added: “It isn’t necessarily just where the school exclusion zones are that the monitoring will be undertaken. It will be the neighbouring streets and anywhere else that is affected.
“Part of the opportunity with the experimental order is to learn as we go. If we do start to identify issues elsewhere then the order can be modified to include those.
“That might involve different waiting restrictions, or in certain areas, and we’ve certainly got a few contingencies in place, we might be facilitating drop off spots elsewhere.
“Ultimately part of the school exclusion zones is to work with the schools. I have to say the schools have been so committed to this experiment and putting these in place.”
Driving bans have been introduced in Dundee and Perth and Kinross in recent years in an effort to halt dangerous parking.
Dundee councillors recently approved plans to impose driving prohibitions at Fintry Primary, with several other city schools expected to follow.
Whitehills Primary in Forfar was the first in the region to introduce parking bans following complaints over reckless driving near the school car park.
The school gates now close to the public from 8.45-9.15am and 3-30am.