Pitt Town Public School parents suspicious of new no parking zone on Fernadell Drive

A group of parents of Pitt Town Public School children are concerned they will be booked for using a newly-designated no parking zone behind the school as a kiss and drop zone.

Hawkesbury Council recently erected No Parking and No Stopping signs on Fernadell Drive, which parents had been using as a pick-up and drop-off zone.

The newly-erected No Parking and No Stopping signs behind Pitt Town Public School. Picture: Sarah Falson

The newly-erected No Parking and No Stopping signs behind Pitt Town Public School. Picture: Sarah Falson

Parent and Pitt Town local Keith Quiney said throughout 2020 as the school adjusted to COVID-19 practices, Fernadell Drive had been "successfully utilised" to coordinate drive-through collection of students.

He said this allowed parents the ability to "remain in their cars, queue and proceed at less than 5 kilometres-per-hour through the queue to the school gate, where teachers identified the parent and student being collected, allowing minimal contact between parents and the school community."

He said while there was now a "verbal agreement" between the school and the council that parents wouldn't get booked by council rangers, parents were still suspicious as it seemed counterintuitive to erect signs restricting access while promising parents could still use the zone for pick-up and drop-off purposes.

Mr Quiney said Hawkesbury City Council were "condoning the breaking of road laws in NSW" by the arrangement.

Linda Perrine, Director City Planning at the council, told the Gazette the no parking zones still allowed for pick-up and drop-off.

"A vehicle is permitted to stand for two minutes in this area and the driver must remain in the vehicle or within three metres of the vehicle. The No Parking can be considered as a defacto Kiss and Drop off area," she said.

"These areas, always on the school side of the road, provide convenience for drivers and improve children's safety. Parents and carers are able to legally drop off or pick up their children in the No Parking zone."

She said Council staff liaised with the Pitt Town Public School Principal in the lead up to the installation of the No Parking signs, and the school was supportive of the signs installation.

"To set up the initiative, schools need to reach agreement with the school community and consult with Council," Ms Perrine said.

"The Principal is in full support of these new arrangements and she has informed parents, carers and the Parent and Citizens Committee about these arrangements."

She said while NSW Police might attend the area, "as a general rule, Council Rangers patrol school zones, not the NSW Police".

"Representatives of NSW Police and Transport for NSW are on Council's Traffic Committee and they are aware that the signs have been installed," she said.

Parents are also calling for a pedestrian zebra crossing to be installed at the front of the school, and wider footpaths all the way around the school so no child has to walk on the road.