The use of signs to highlight a road closure near a Headington school is confusing, a resident has claimed.

Oxfordshire County Council has been trialling four School Streets initiatives using trained volunteers to manage temporary road closures at four schools in the county.

Now camera enforcement backed by signs is being introduced at the school sites to deter parents from parking near the school gates.

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Peter West, who lives near Windmill Primary School in Margaret Road, has highlighted how a yellow road sign is inaccurate at weekends as it is says 'ANPR enforcement in operation' when enforcement does not occur at weekends - only at drop-off and pick-up times on weekdays.

Oxford Mail:

In an email to Headington county councillors Chris Smowton and Roz Smith he wrote: "It's Saturday; the cameras should definitely not 'be in operation'!

"The big yellow council signs are still in place on the three roads, so are the council legally responsible for moving the signs on Friday night, or the 'volunteers'?"

ANPR cameras have been brought at schools because volunteers faced abuse from drivers.

A council report said last year: "Volunteers have also been physically threatened and challenged as they have not had concrete enforcement power to stop traffic entering the School Street.

“The proposal to use ANPR cameras to enforce the School Street replaces the need for volunteers, removes the risk of face to face tensions around entering a School Street closure zone, and ensures consistency can be practised in allowing the appropriate exemptions.”

The other three schools taking part in the scheme are: St Nicolas Primary School in Abingdon, Larkrise Primary School in Oxford, and St Ebbe's Primary School in Oxford.

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A council spokeswoman said:"School Streets are intended to reduce traffic volume and improve safety for schools and residents during school drop off and pick up time.

Oxford Mail:

"We have four school streets now operational with ANPR camera enforcement.

"Restriction times only apply Monday to Friday during term time. Motorists may notice yellow advisory signs warning that the school streets are now being enforced to help create spaces where children can thrive, be healthier and happier."

There are three ANPR cameras for the Windmill Primary School scheme, and one ANPR camera for each of the other three School Streets (six cameras in total)

"The ongoing operational costs for each camera is £8,700, with total annual operational costs for six cameras of £52,200.

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"Funding has been allocated to develop further School Streets across Oxfordshire."

When the council was asked if failure to remove the yellow signs at weekends was causing confusion for drivers, the council said: "The yellow A-board signs are only advisory and used to warn motorists that the regulatory signs are being enforced."

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This story was written by Andy Ffrench, he joined the team more than 20 years ago and now covers community news across Oxfordshire.

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