"Zigzags and double yellow lines outside schools are there for a reason" -- that is the road safety message from Torbay Council as it advises parents of the importance of safe and legal parking.

The council has written to parents of 8,500 pupils at 30 primary schools across the Bay to remind them of their responsibility to find a safe place to park at school times.

The letter from the council's Road Safety Team also warns that enforcement of parking restrictions around schools will be undertaken some time after the half term holiday.

Anyone who is issued with a penalty charge notice will have to pay £70, reduced to £35 if paid within 14 days.

Road safety officer Bev Hannah said: "The safety of our children and their parents is paramount.

"We are aware of several near misses involving children and cars in the vicinity of schools during the school run. Thankfully no-one has been hurt, and we are determined to do everything we can to maintain this safety record.

"We have also had serious concerns expressed to us by several schools and parents. They are unhappy about the actions of people who fail to observe the parking restrictions, and have asked us to take action.

"We share those concerns and decided to take this opportunity to raise public awareness, backed by enforcement of the restrictions."