Yellow lines without signs, means enforcement is on hold in Leighton


Enforcement action to tackle dangerous and illegal parking outside two Leighton Buzzard schools has been held up due to a mix-up over signage.

Central Beds Council recently installed additional road restrictions aimed at stopping thoughtless motorists creating a hazard outside schools.

The council is in the process of increasing the number of its district-wide civil enforcement officers from nine to 15, and had pledged to up patrols after coming under fire for a lack of policing of yellow lines, which are being blatantly ignored by drivers.

But with pupils now back at school after Easter, mum Leia Blakesley, who has taken to putting her son in a high-vis vest for the walk to Clipstone Brook Lower School, says there has been no evidence of any improved enforcement.

However town and CBC councillor Ray Berry told the LBO on Friday that while CBC’s contractor had painted the yellow lines several weeks ago, the work had not been coordinated with the subcontractor charged with installing the signage outside Clipstone Brook and Leedon Lower.

He said motorists were taking advantage of the oversight, adding: “Quite simply we cannot enforce the lines we’ve put in. It should be resolved within the next seven days. The parking guys will be out as soon as the signs are up, then they [drivers] will be getting hammered.”

However, Leia was not impressed. She said: “The new lines are an extension of what is already there which are already signed that there should be no parking between school hours. They are using it as an excuse.”

She added: “Also, at the top of South Street joining Hockliffe Road a couple of months ago they painted 20mph on the roads, but the signs there say 30mph!”

Leighton Linslade Town Council’s partnership committee has previously been told by CBC how incorrect, faded or missing signage and markings had been making it difficult for CBC to enforce parking restrictions.

As a result a long list of works was commissioned and the council pledged to develop an improved schools enforcement programme.

Last summer five CBC councillors were appointed to review parking issues outside of schools, particularly in light of the implications of school expansion, and come up with “cost neutral” recommendations.

Their findings included encouraging schools to produce travel plans, production of a school parking leaflet, 20mph signage and better signage of restrictions, enforcing parking restrictions “taking into account existing resources”.

Lower and primary schools should also be encouraged to allocate a designated member of staff to manage collection and drop off of children, and also work closely with the local community in order to maximise shared resources including utilising village hall car parks, local supermarkets.