A crackdown on drivers who illegally stop on zigzag lines outside schools is coming this term.

Following concerns from parents and residents about safety and air pollution, Merton council enforcement officers will be using automatic number plate recognition, in addition to the mobile CCTV car that is already used, to catch out motorists when schools go back next week.

The council’s cabinet member for health, Tobin Byers, said: “Motorists who stop on zigzag lines outside schools not only compromise the safety of other children and their parents who are trying to cross the road, but also increase air pollution around the school gates by leaving the engine running while they drop off or pick up passengers.

“We want to take this opportunity at the start of the new school term to step up enforcement to deter motorists from stopping on zigzag lines and to encourage more parents to walk their children to school rather than drive.”

Drivers caught stopping on zigzag lines are liable for a £110 penalty charge, which is reduced to £55 if paid within 14 days. Signs outside each school state what hours the keep clear restrictions are in force.