National awards for council parking staff

 

Council staff behind a pilot scheme to create temporary pedestrian zones outside schools have received two national industry awards.

In September three primaries – Heavers Farm and St Chad’s in Selhurst and Woodcote in Coulsdon – signed up to the council’s pilot scheme to turn their schools’ residential approach roads into pedestrian zones during the school run.  This was because of the schools’ concerns about parking and pedestrian safety during the morning and afternoon drop-off and collection times.

At the British Parking Awards in London on Friday, council staff involved in the school parking zones trial won two awards. The first went to the council’s overall parking team for the Parking in the Community Award, which “recognises people working within the parking sector who have engaged with and supported their local communities”. The community award submission cited feedback from the schools, which reported less school-run traffic, less inconsiderate parking and better access for pupils walking to school.

The Frontline Award, which is given to “recognise excellent customer service, communication skills and community engagement”, went to Croydon Council employee Youssef El-Khouri, who combined his day jobs as a civil enforcement officer in the parking team with being a lollipop person at a school crossing patrol near Woodcote Primary, one of the schools in the six-month trial.

His award submission cited his popularity with pupils, their parents and local residents, and he also gave feedback to a local bus company which then made sure there were two school buses serving Woodcote Primary in the mornings and afternoons.

The roads in the scheme – two in Selhurst and three in Coulsdon – were not physically closed to traffic; instead, the council used temporary automatic number plate recognition cameras to scan if vehicles passing through the pedestrian zones had permission, with signs marking the zones’ limits.

“These awards are a real accolade for our parking team, who have done so well to have been singled out for praise among their peers nationwide.

“I’m especially pleased for Youssef, who has received a lot of praise from local people for his role in this school parking trial.”

Councillor Stuart King, cabinet member for transport and environment

The school-run parking zone consultation period concluded last week, and the council’s traffic management advisory committee will decide later this year whether to make the schemes permanent.

 

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