Police will start fining drivers trying to get around a Fraserburgh school’s traffic ban by clogging up neighbouring streets.
The 18-month road closure outside South Park School was launched at the end of May 2022, in the hopes of cutting down car usage.
It set out to make surrounding streets safer for youngsters, while easing congestion for people living nearby.
Under the pilot project, Philorth Avenue and St Modan’s Place are closed to traffic for an hour during the morning and afternoon school runs.
New signs are now in place that flash when the ban is in operation, warning motorists to steer clear.
The results have now gone before members of the Banff and Buchan area committee, where tough new measures emerged.
What difference has it made?
The local authority has received feedback from school staff, community wardens and the police who have all been monitoring the project.
Three traffic surveys – one held before the trial, one throughout June and the last in September – were carried out.
In the morning closure, held from 8.15-9.15am, there has been an average reduction of 90 vehicles.
While in the afternoon period from 2.30pm to 3.30pm, there has been a reduction of 68 cars.
Data showed that the number of youngsters walking or cycling has increased to 67%, up from 56% in 2022.
But while the ban has been positive outside the school, it has had the opposite impact on neighbouring streets.
There have been extra cars on Witchhill Road, Mormond Avenue and Provost Milne Drive.
Motorist already issued with fine for breaking school vehicle ban rules
But from now on, anyone found to be in the area during the ban will be issued with a fine.
Strategy development officer Joanna Stewart told the committee that one motorist has already been issued with a fine for parking on a neighbouring street.
However she warned that winter would be a “real test” for the project as parents may choose to use their cars as the weather turns colder.
Ban ‘very important project’ for Fraserburgh
Councillor Doreen Mair noted that parking issues have been a problem in the area for “many years” and the council had tried many strategies to solve it.
She said: “The streets are narrow, there have already been incidents of children being hurt beside the school.
“Anything we can do to help that is absolutely necessary.
“I hope that people will realise that this is for their children’s safety and stick to the rules and be considerate of neighbours to the school.”
Meanwhile fellow councillor Seamus Logan said it was a “very important project” for Fraserburgh.
The temporary vehicle ban will be in place until December 2024, but a decision on whether to make it permanent is expected to be made next summer.