As the school term kicks off once more, cracking down on problem parking in and around schools will become a priority for Canterbury City Council's enforcement officers.

Operation Safety Net will target motorists who flout the rules designed to keep children safe, especially when they need to cross the road. Particular attention will be paid to drivers who park on zig zags, double yellow lines and dropped kerbs. There will be no advance warning that officers will be paying a visit.

Chairman of Canterbury City Council's Community Committee, Cllr Neil Baker, said: “The safety of children always has to be our number one priority. We want those drivers who are tempted to pull up wherever they can for the sake of convenience or shaving a few minutes off the school run to think again.

“Poor parking obscures the line of sight for drivers and increases the risk of children not being seen as they cross the road. As well issuing penalty charge notices which hit errant drivers in the pocket, we often report the worst offenders to the police.”

Operation Safety Net saw enforcement officers make 43 visits to schools across the district between January and July, with 76 penalty charge notices issued. Officers will target problem parking hotspots and respond to complaints from residents, parents and head teachers.

Problem parking can be reported via the online form.

To complement the enforcement approach, the council has also created a Think Park Smart package which provides information on the latest initiatives, useful websites and up-to-date road safety advice and will work with schools to bring the message home to motorists. For more information, call Kerry Sheffield on 01227 862472 or email