Parents in Dartford say their kids are "genuinely afraid" to walk to school as council figures show that only 126 fines were handed to drivers dangerously parked outside schools last year.

Released under the Freedom of Information Act, the figures show these fines were issued to drivers parked on zig-zag lines outside of 20 Dartford primary schools.

The school which saw the most fines issued was Dartford Primary Academy where 53 offenders were slapped with penalties.

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Road safety campaigners within the borough have expressed shock upon hearing the figures, claiming not enough drivers have been caught and branding the council's current method of preventing dangerous driving outside of schools as "inadequate".

In 2016, the council launched its School Safety Patrol car which drives between schools in Dartford, issuing fines to those caught parking on school markings.

However, campaigners say they are confused as to how only 126 fines were issued as the patrol car visits schools every morning and afternoon during the term times, which is approximately 190 days each academic year.

One mum, Emma Ben Moussa, whose son attends Manor Community Primary, said she was disappointed with the low number of fines issued to drivers outside of the school as she described situations where cars have taken over pavements as part of the hectic daily school run.

"I walk my son to school every day and dread it.

"Cars regularly drive around us on the pavement, only this week a car beeped us to move out of the way so he could drive down the pavement faster. These are the conditions our children go to school in.

"I’m disappointed to see that only four penalties were given out for parking on the zig-zag lines at Manor, but not surprised. Swanscombe is always neglected by the council," she said.

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Jessica Maddox, whose daughter Gracie was left with a major brain injury after she was knocked down outside Fleetdown Primary School nearly two years ago, said she feels "extremely let down" by the council as only one fine had been issued outside of the same school last year.

"What are they waiting for? A death?

"We need change and it needs to happen now to keep our children safe and give them the freedom they deserve," she said.

When asked to comment on the figures, Dartford Council leader Jeremy Kite said that while it may be easy to "knock parking officers", the onus should be on the drivers who are "putting children's lives at risk."

"The issue of school safety is hugely important and that’s why we are, to my knowledge, the only local council in Kent to have established a group specifically targeting dangerous parking around schools.

"Just this week, we are bringing forward our proposals asking KCC to implement new safe zones and approve ’20 is plenty’ signage on local routes around schools.

"Some may find cause to criticise the council’s parking officers and that’s fine, but the key to this is changing the dangerous and irresponsible attitude of some drivers who are disturbing local residents and playing roulette with children’s lives," he said.