Macedon Ranges council has warned drivers could be fined for parking on nature strips in and around Gisborne Primary School.

Amid concern about the safety of pedestrians, the school contacted the council in relation to parking problems, particularly around Howey and Aitkin streets.

The council’s assets and operations director Dale Thornton said: “Public safety is of paramount importance, especially for pedestrians in and around schools.”

He said cars parked on nature strips and footpaths could make pedestrians less visible to oncoming cars, restrict access for wheelchairs and prams, could prevent emergency services accessing water, gas, telecommunications pipes and could cause major damage to public infrastructure.

But residents say they are parking on the nature strip to avoid incidents with passing traffic.

One resident took to Facebook to ask drivers to be careful driving past parked cars in the area, saying they had already had a car lose a mirror in an incident.

The resident said having to park cars “fully on the road” would “only make it harder for the buses and school traffic to get past”.

The council said it understood their concerns, but it was legally required to enforce Victorian road rules.

“We understand that people sometimes use the nature strip because they feel it is safer than parking on the road, especially in narrow streets,” Mr Thornton said.

“However, the reality is that parking fully or partially on nature strips or footpaths is illegal under state law, regardless of the intention.”