School parking

Measures to improve road safety outside of schools.

Parking prevention measures can also be used for timely restrictions to assist with road safety outside of schools. This is aimed at busy pick up and drop off times in areas outside of schools which may cause an increased safety risk for both parents and children.

Keep clear markings
Yellow road markings and a sign showing the restrictions.

School keep clear markings are markings painted on the road near school entrances and exits. 

School keep clear markings (zig zags) keep the space outside of schools free from parked vehicles so that children can be seen more easily when crossing the road. The over-riding priority around schools is the safety of children. 

Parents who choose to take their children to school by car must obey the parking regulations in place.

Where single or double yellow lines are present, drivers can stop to pick up or drop off children, but waiting for passengers is not permitted.

When picking up or dropping off a child, the driver must always stay with their vehicle unless the child needs help getting into or out of the vehicle. 

The markings may be either: 

  • mandatory (legally enforceable by a Traffic Signs Regulations Traffic Regulation Order)  
  • advisory.  

In practice, the mandatory and advisory markings look the same. However, the mandatory markings have an accompanying sign stating the times of operation. The enforcement of mandatory school keep clear zig-zag markings in Leicestershire is currently carried out by the Civil Enforcement Officers (CEO), as part of their general patrols. CEO or closed-circuit television (CCTV) can enforce these restrictions. 

School camera car 

Leicestershire County Council uses camera cars to enforce these restrictions. A camera-equipped car monitors and enforces the parking restrictions outside schools. Using automatic number plate recognition technology (ANPR), officers use the car to collect the necessary evidence to issue a £70 Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) to drivers who park on zig-zag lines (known as school keep clear markings).

The car has an intelligent enforcement system that uses GPS to recognise where restrictions begin and end as the vehicle drives though a restricted zone. Council officers along with the local police collaborate with schools on how to improve road safety and put in place programmes that encourage children to walk to and from school safely.

If a school wants to be considered for future rounds of the school keep clear scheme, they should email

Parking restrictions may be considered around schools but only after an assessment has taken place out of the area. The criteria for this would include: 

  • accident data 
  • local amenity provision 
  • housing stock and 
  • speed data

Where appropriate a range of options are available. 

To compliment and reinforce the use of parking restrictions, physical measures may be in use to support the management of school parking as an alternative. Any potential measures would need an assessment against the criteria for funding within the county council’s limited resources. It is likely that implementation of many measures would need third party funding. 

Further reading

Parking enforcement – school camera car

Part year and day restrictions
Yellow sign showing No stopping Monday to Friday from 8am to 4pm on entrance markings

Term time only restrictions can only be implemented with specific dates. The Department for Transport (DfT) doesn’t recommend the use of a restriction at term time only as the average motorist won’t be aware of when the term time is.

Near to Loughborough University restrictions have been implemented that operate for part of the year (October - June). This time period allows for changes to the beginning and end of the academic year whilst still being in operation for the majority of this time.

No waiting restrictions and school keep clear markings can operate for part of the day such as during the busiest times of the day (e.g. morning and afternoon) to prevent inconsiderate school parking. This allows for parking at other times for residents and the wider community. This restriction means that a car can stop on a single or double yellow line restriction to drop off or pick up a child without contravening the restriction.

To avoid confusion a standard operating procedure has been established across the county. This encompasses the varying term times and daily start/finish times. Part year and day restrictions have the same exemptions as the equivalent restriction that operates throughout the year.