‘EDUCATION rather than enforcement’ is the stance being adopted in the crackdown on parents’ illegal parking outside schools in worst-hit areas - after a report revealed just two people have been fined despite dozens of patrols.

The South Area Council - responsible for Wombwell, Hoyland and Darfield - employed Kingdom Enforcement to patrol places which have been put forward by residents, businesses and councillors.

Their 18-hour-a-week contract for parking enforcement was increased to 23 hours due to a surge in parents waiting on double yellow lines or zig-zags outside schools during drop-off and pick-up times.

The Chronicle can reveal 75 hours of patrols and 129 visits were carried out over a 15-week period, targeting 17 schools in the area council’s district.

However, just two parking charge notices (PCNs) were given to motorists.

The report said: “A total of 54 vehicles were instructed to move on but the emphasis has been on engagement and education.

“This is reflected in only two PCNs being issued in 129 visits to schools.

“From that engagement, it’s hoped they will consider their actions next time.

“Schools including Elsecar Primary, Birdwell, St Helen’s, Greenfield, Hemingfield, All Saints’, High View, Kings Oak, West Meadows, Springwood, Upperwood and Netherwood Academy have been visited.

“Parents have said things improve when we attend, but reduced surveillance has noted improvements and changes in behaviour since the introduction of patrols.

Coun Kevin Osborne, who represents the Darfield ward, has attended a number of sessions at schools including All Saints’ Academy.

He said: “Both the school and street date back to Victorian times where cars were never an issue.

“It was great to be able to chat to parents and carers as they arrived to pick up the children and to hear their stories of close calls and frustrations with inconsiderate and selfish drivers.

“It was interesting to see that the vast majority of drivers were understanding and got the message.

“However I will say that although parking on the verges and pavement may be ‘legal’, it doesn’t make it the right thing to do either.

“Folk were being forced to come off the pavement and walk in the middle of the road - that’s not right in anyone’s book.

“If further legal action is required so be it - our children deserve it.”

More than 90 per cent of all parking tickets handed out across the South Area Council ward - which include village centres - were in Wombwell, figures have revealed.

Statistics show that 178 of the 196 parking charge notices (PCNs) handed out across the area were given to residents in Wombwell over a three-month period.

Only eight were handed out in Hoyland, nine in Darfield and one in Birdwell.

Over the same period, almost 300 people drove away just as the officer was about to issue a ticket.

Coun James Higginbottom, who represents Wombwell and is the cabinet spokesperson for environment and highways, added: “Illegal and nuisance parking, especially around our local schools, is a major issue that residents raise with local councillors on a regular basis.

“Barnsley Council is taking action against illegal parking.

“We have ample free parking in Wombwell that drivers can use and I would strongly encourage them to use it.”