Council could fine parents for driving kids to school
News entry dated 13th Apr 2017

Two schools in London are taking the next step in tackling the growing air pollution crisis by fining parents £130 for driving their children to and from school. Experts believe that tackling the pollution issue at the source, by hitting parents in the wallet, will cut down on those who unnecessarily drive their kids to school. The measure should radically improve road pollution around schools where public transport is easily accessible.

As part of an unprecedented initiative called “School Streets,” Hackney Borough Council will ban parents from picking up and dropping off their children between 8.30-9.15 am and 3.15-4.00 pm.

The ban is set to begin in June and, while it only applies to two schools now, could be expanded across the borough (and the capital) if it proves a real success.

Whilst primarily focusing on reducing the amount of pollution that school children breathe in daily, it is hoped that the ban will also increase children’s activity levels, by encouraging them to walk or cycle to school and to use public transport.

This follows last week’s news that London will be introducing a “toxicity charge” from October, to help prevent the highest-polluting vehicles from using capital’s roads.

The dangers of air pollution are becoming increasingly apparent, igniting a war on air pollution across the UK. While these measures attempt to encourage use of public transport, how realistic is that, when London Underground and train routes are already close to breaking point?

If this was rolled out across all major towns and cities in the UK, what impact would it have on pollution? Is the public transportation infrastructure ready to cope with a massive increase in the number of children using it to go to school? What about the public safety of children if this was made law?

Whilst this attempts to tackle a serious problem, do you think that it is a viable solution? Could it be improved? Please let us know your views in the comments below.

Image credit – Pixabay 



It's about time that something is done about parents driving their children to school. Why not walk when possible instead of using the " Chelsea tractors" that seem to get more and more popular. Some of the parents think they are still driving a small family car and have great difficulty realising the size of their vehicle and cannot park the things unless the space is at least three times their length. Good for the councils fining such people, it should happen everywhere in the country.

Terry Casey April 20, 2017

There are a lot of responders here who seem to be confusing the situation regarding two Inner City London schools with frequent buses very close by with their own rural school in the back of beyond near nowhere that only sees one bus a week on market days!

They obviously can't comprehend the difference between their own situation with one where residential roads are jammed with slow moving and stationary vehicles twice a day making residents prisoners within their own houses or unable to get near them!

As for pollution, it is the children who walk to school who are subjected to the extreme levels of pollution caused by the lazy parents and their kids who aren't expected to have to walk more than a few feet to the school gate.

Many of these blocked roads are legitimate through routes to other roads and routes so the pollution is not just from the school traffic but also the other traffic which is obstructed. Perhaps these complainants would like to see what is like for themselves but, unfortunately, I don't know any way of transporting Hackney's school traffic to them for a month or two ...

Hopefully this proposed action will make the roads much safer for the children who already walk - or even cycle - to school and give the others some much needed exercise. Organised and supervised crocodiles can ensure the safety of junior school children and, by organising the the supervision on a rota basis, would free up parents time on the days when they are not involved.

Claire Walker April 19, 2017

Slightly off topic but still with concerns about pollution and school children. Isn't it time ice cream vans are banned from parking outside schools, and at events......round this area the ice cream vans are pretty old vehicles so to park up and have engines running belching out diesel fumes cannot be doing kids or anyone else any good.

Terry Hudson April 18, 2017

Does not public transport cause pollution?
Private cars are banned from Oxford Street, but is one of the most polluted streets in London because of public transport!
Road humps cause of pollution, so how about fining councils for imposing them?
But what would you expect from these councils, who seek to mimic North Korea.
What legal grounds have they for imposing these fines?
With a general election seven weeks away, drivers want to stop voting for politicians who see drivers as mobile cash-points!

    Richard McDonald April 20, 2017

    Yes Terry public transport does cause pollution, but a bus can transport around sixty people at a time, unlike the chav wagons on the school run.

Michael Hollinshead April 18, 2017

I know that the schools are now pleading poverty, but proposing to extract (fine!) money from busy parents/grandparents is beyond a joke. Next, some bright spark will have a flash of inspiration and add 50 or 100% to the fine for driving (shock horror) a DIESEL! The Schools should remember that this is England, not Turkey!
My grandchild is Autistic and is not safe to be allowed to walk to school and I (mid 70's) have a (genuine!) blue badge - C.O.P.D. caused by Asbestosis + chronic Arthritis. His father, my son, has life changing injuries from an accident in the RAF, and also has a blue badged car. Neither of us could walk to the child's school even if we wanted to.

alan parker April 17, 2017

Since when does a council have the right to fine people? they are not a court and have no legal right to do so and if they scream council property just remind the criminals that a council cannot own property but only hold it in trust for the people.

Mark Young April 17, 2017

I can't see any legal basis on which the schools could charge. A member of the public, driving on public roads and letting persons out at the side of a public road. They haven't the authority to charge for that.
If the schools were that concerned, they'd lobby their respective councils to provide buses or coaches to collect the children. It would also massively reduce congestion.

F Mcmanus April 17, 2017

The reason the majority of parents drive their children to school is because they haven't enough time to walk to school and then to walk home to collect their car to take themselves to work on time.

Amanda Ball April 17, 2017

Just wondering how easy it will be to enforce such a system. Parents will likely park up round the corner & then walk the last few metres to school

ALAN RODDIS April 17, 2017

The solution, don't have children.

John Moonie April 17, 2017

I hope Hackney etc are looking forward to extra injury and fatalities incurred by children trying to walk or cycle when other traffic is at its maxiumum. Also guess what? Lazy mums/dads will drop their charges off at 0825 and pick up again at 1605! Thereby putting them more at risk of hanging about.

Richard Nunn April 17, 2017

What's so wrong with kids walking or cycling to school. I was brought up in Hounslow, Middx and my brother cycled to and from Hampton Grammar every day. I walked to school until I went to Chiswick Grammar and then I had a train pass. Even when we moved to Devon I had to walk to and from school because my dad, who was the only driver, wouldn't drive me to school even though it was on his way to work. Parents are to blame for breeding a lazy youth who haven't got the common sense to look both ways and cross a road. As far as this using public transport idea goes, it's great in London and crap in Devon. I can understand people driving to school where the only bus is once a week and only goes to the nearest market.

Tony Slade April 17, 2017

ALL the above comments have obviously got merit, but when we read of yet another child physically/sexually assaulted, or introduced to drugs in or around the school precincts will (a) those reminiscing about their schooldays of yore, or (b) those moaning because the roads are busier, please reflect that today is a different world to the idyllic one they have in mind. It is easier for Councils to come up with fines and enhance their budget than it is to make their areas safer so that walking/cycling to school, or anywhere else is SAFER.

Robert Castle April 16, 2017

Fined for not taking the kids to school and fined for taking them to school, can't they just make up there mind either they want the kids or don't want them.

Jill Price April 16, 2017

Can someone please tell me how this is going to work. They are proposing to fine someone for using the the public highway. Is there going to be someone with a clipboard writing down registration numbers or are they going to have one of those cameras the police use to catch non-payers of car insurance. Are they going to film children getting out of vehicles, don't forget these children are not on school premises. I hope the parents test this in the high court because this is the thin edge of dictatorship. What happens if someone not dropping a child off passes the school will they be fined as well. Or am I reading this wrong, do these parents actually enter school premises? At what age do these council officials think it is safe for children to travel on public transport alone? As for travelling on the Underground; for years we would travel around London on the Underground, yes it was busy at rush hour but now I think it is life threatening.

Hugh Jardon April 16, 2017

Pure greed wrapped up in a tissue of lies, if the councils and the government were in the least bit concerned about children breathing in the toxic fumes from fuel they would make us all drive using Ethanol so our children didn't have to breathe in all the dangerous fumes, but that will never happen because they make millions if not billions from fuel sales, so they let underdeveloped lungs breathe toxic fumes for money, bunch of greedy hypocrites .

Ajay Jindle April 16, 2017

Well. Only thing to say is stupidity has no bounds. If you want to tackle pollution then do something about banning the polluting cars and not hit the poor parent who might be trying to shuffle a busy schedule of going to work and drop their child safely to school.

Raymond Brooks April 16, 2017

Think £130 is enough for a small car but if it's a Range Rover let's make £500 per trip.

Raymond Brooks April 16, 2017

Doesn't affect me so all for it if it gives me more road space to use my F TYPE SVR to it's maximum potential. Paying £515 in road to ax already so need to be able to use the roads where, when & how I choose when I choose. How about dispensing with old mother May's chauffeur driven XJ, she could walk down to the house from Downing Street ? Don't give me the old security excuse, doesn't hold water with me.

PHIL BROWN April 16, 2017

I do hope that the Local Authority includes all the worst polluters which are heavy vehicles including buses etc and are not just hitting the over taxed rate payers, yet again, what would the Government do if we all got rid of our cars and used Public Transport, Shanks's Pony, walking etc. where would they raise the umpteen billion pounds from vehicle excise duty, I know, how about a shoe tax or better still a walking tax we could all have a milometer fitted, lets see the new mayor of London walking to work or on ye bike matey.