PUPILS would be safer if only the parents "who really have to drive" take the car to drop their kids at school.

That's the view of Councillor Jane Ann Liston as a Fife Council report outlined the dangers at drop-off and pick-up times.

It said: "School-related traffic congestion and the risks congestion poses to the safety of pupils, teachers, parents, residents and motorists in and around school locations is a significant problem in many Fife communities.

"The most obvious cause of traffic congestion around our schools is vehicles, and the biggest source of those vehicles is parents dropping off and picking up their children from school."

READ MORE: Don't Park Here campaign continues at Fife schools

Cllr Liston, the convener of the environment, transportation and climate change scrutiny committee, said: "I can't help feeling that if only the parents who really couldn't get their children actively to school were the ones that were driving them, then we would probably be in a better position than we are at the moment."

Dunfermline Press: Lib Dem councillor Jane Ann Liston. Lib Dem councillor Jane Ann Liston. (Image: Fife Council)

Cllr Darren Watt said it wasn't as simple as that and added: "There's a vicious irony in that people feel it's unsafe to walk so they take their kids to school in the car but then the more cars on the roads the more it makes people feel it's unsafe to walk.

"I know there's no silver bullet here but I think each school needs to be looked at on a case by case basis.

"We should encourage active travel as much as possible but we have to bear in mind it's not always possible or feasible."

The committee was told around one in four cars on the roads during the week between 8.30am and 9.15am, and 2.30pm and 3.15pm, are likely on a primary school run.

READ MORE: New parking restrictions at primary school in Dunfermline

And the report said the council work with schools on a number of initiatives, as well as travel plans, to try and encourage more active travel - walking, cycling or wheeling.

Dunfermline Press: Conservative councillor Darren Watt. Conservative councillor Darren Watt. (Image: Fife Council)

Cllr Watt went on: "It says 23 per cent of pupils are driven to school each day. I'm just as guilty and it's not down to laziness or the weather, it's because of our lifestyles.

"I take my kids to school sometimes because I can drop them off and then go straight to a meeting.

"Lots of parents, especially those with busy working lives, it's just not feasible to walk their kids to school and then walk back home to get the car and drive to work. They don't have that much time.

"I'm not saying we have to necessarily facilitate the idea of parking and encouraging road use, but be more sympathetic and supportive of that need as it's simply not feasible for some parents and carers to just abandon the car and walk, wheel or scoot to school.

"The infrastructure isn't always there to support that either, such as crossing patrol guards."

Susan Keenlyside, the service manager for sustainable transport and parking, said: "We do try and encourage more positive parking for those who feel they absolutely need to take their child to school by car, by making sure they don't park at the school gates.

"And really trying to get healthy behaviours into children at an early age."