CALLS have been made for school parking exclusion zones at Inverclyde schools as part of a push to improve safety.

Councillor Jim McEleny pitched the idea at a meeting of the environment and regeneration committee as members discussed proposals to spend £150,000 on improving pedestrian and cycling access to primary schools.

Councillors backed the plans and officials will now begin speaking with school staff to design individual schemes.

A detailed study will be carried out at each school, looking at current pedestrian and cycle links as well as the impact of vehicles surrounding the schools.

Measures being considered include reducing road widths, introducing 20mph speed limits and further road safety education.

Schools could also be asked to create their own gateway signs, which would then be submitted to Transport Scotland for approval.

But SNP man Mr McEleny said the council may have to take more drastic measures at some schools as he highlighted the dangerous congestion and parking around gates.

An exclusion zone would mean parents would not be able to park on roads surrounding a school at certain times of the day.

Cllr McEleny said: “I’m sure all of us experience the schools where there are safety concerns.

“Some of these measures, such as narrowing roads, won’t work as there are some areas where cars are already parking half on the pavement and half on the road.

“There should be an exclusion zone around primary schools.”

Officers told Cllr McEleny exclusion zones could be implemented if staff at any schools feel that is the only way to combat safety problems.

However, it was stressed the measures implemented would depend on what individual schools felt would make a difference.

Cllr Ronnie Ahlfeld, who represents Inverclyde West, added: “A lot of the problems are down to drivers and it’s really dangerous.

“There’s going to be a serious accident.

"It’s carnage.

“Whoever is dealing with this one, I wish them the best of luck.”

The £150,000 budget was set out last year as part of the Safer Streets initiative and will be spent over a three-year period.